As you age, it's natural that your behaviours and patterns of activity start to change. After years of hard work, you can finally begin to take it easy, taking time for yourself as you transition into senior living. Whether this is ageing in place in your own home, or in one of New South Wales' retirement communities, you'll find that your priorities will shift.

But one of the most important focuses no matter what stage of your life you're in, is going to be nutrition. As the fuel that keeps our bodies going, our diet plays an integral role in our health and wellbeing, as we found out recently in our article about the MIND diet and Alzheimer's disease.

However, for many seniors, keeping up a varied and balanced diet can present a challenge, which can lead to malnutrition. 

Healthy diet for a healthy life 

As the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners reports, anything from 10-14 per cent of the country's seniors are thought to be at risk of malnutrition. There are a number of possible reasons behind this statistic, from the price of fruit and vegetables – key elements in a healthy diet – to a lack of motivation to prepare and cook a meal.

The latter can be particularly prevalent in older people who live alone, especially if they were used to cooking for a partner or their children. 

Greens such as broccoli play an important role in a healthy diet. Greens such as broccoli play an important role in a healthy diet.

Why good nutrition is important for seniors

Eating a balanced diet is crucial as we get older. Without the nutrients gleaned from fresh produce, wholegrains and the like, our body isn't able to heal as efficiently as it could, and our muscles don't get the support they need, leading to muscle weakness, according to Mayo Clinic. 

In addition, the immune system, one of our biggest defences against illness, can also decline with age due to immunosenescence – making fuelling the body with nutrient-rich food vital as we age. 

One of the best motivations for whipping up a great meal is having a friend over – you can take it in turns to host a dinner party, so you can have a night off once  

At AEH Retirement, while we do not presently provide meals in our retirement villages, we are more than happy to discuss introducing a delivery service to your home to make mealtimes that little bit easier. 

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