How Nutritional Needs Change After 60

How Nutritional Needs Change After 60

When it comes to healthy aging, quite honestly, there’s a lot to do. You’re supposed to make sure to keep your body active and your brain engaged all while maintaining your social connections as well. Sure, the benefits to your overall well-being are worth the effort, but retirement is supposed to be a time with less responsibility on your plate, right? Well, it turns out that in senior living you can have your cake and eat it too, so to speak. Here’s how programs like our Vivid Life make keeping active, engaged, and connected easy and fun! 

Benefits of Healthy Aging 

Good things happen when you focus on healthy aging. In addition to feeling better overall, which in and of itself is a win, other benefits of keeping active, engaged, and connected include:  

  • Improved ability to do everyday things ​ 
  • Reduced impact of illness and chronic disease​ 
  • Enhanced mobility, flexibility, and balance
  • Improved sleep
  • Increased energy level
  • Reduced feelings of depression and stress
  • Increased feelings of happiness and self-confidence
  • Reduced risk of cognitive decline 
  • Increased mental adaptability and cognitive reserve 
  • Improved memory recall and problem-solving skills 
  • Improved concentration and attention to detail  

How Senior Living Can Help 

At home, particularly when living alone, it can be hard to stay as active, engaged, and connected as you’d like. From lack of opportunity to lack of motivation to lack of transportation to mobility challenges, and more, it’s tough, we get it! That’s why we created the Vivid Life program in our senior living communities. It’s composed of three parts: Vibrant Body, Vibrant Brain, and Vibrant Connections. Here’s what each entails:  

Vibrant Body We offer amenities such as a state-of-the-art fitness center, a pool, walking trails, gardening opportunities, and even a dog park to help you stay active. A sample of activities includes:  

  • Walking club – Daily walks at different outdoor locations using pedometers to measure steps. 
  • Yoga – At least once per week for gentle yoga, and once per week for mindful breathing. 
  • Fitness classes – At least two times per week using a variety of hand weights, resistance bands, and circuit-type exercises. 
  • Tai Chi – At least once per week with a live instructor. 
  • Non-traditional exercise – Dancing, gardening, etc. at least two times per week. 
  • Physical games and sports – Golf, putting, bowling, croquet, bocce, and ping pong available daily with organized events one to two times per week. 

Vibrant Brain We offer monthly calendars filled with classes, events, creative arts, and enrichment opportunities to help keep you engaged. A sample of activities includes: 

  • Visiting lecture series – Twice per month with topics such as cultural, historical, local interest, career-oriented, etc. 
  • Creative art series – At least one per week with a theme that runs 3-6 weeks, such as poetry writing, storytelling, painting, digital photography, etc. 
  • Learning series – At least three times per month with an emphasis on learning something new such as foreign language, sign language, technology, hobbies, etc. 
  • Games – At least one time per week and may include poker, bridge, Scrabble, etc. 
  • Mindfulness – A meditation class once per week and gratitude discussion group twice monthly. 
  • Church service – At least once a week through visits by local churches. 
  • Stress reduction – At least once per month class that offers deep breathing exercises, nature walks, music appreciation, spa-type treatments, etc. 

 Vibrant Connections We offer resident-led clubs, social events, outings and volunteer opportunities for any interest to help you stay connected. A sample of activities includes: 

  • Outings – At least twice per month and may include going to concerts, art shows, museum visits, theatre productions, etc. 
  • Intergenerational programming – At least once per month and focuses on building relationships between young adults/children and residents. 
  • New resident welcome party – At least once per month to formally introduce all new residents, and includes ice breakers, social games, etc. to encourage connection. 
  • Philanthropic program – At least once per month provide residents the opportunity to give back to the community, such as volunteering for a local food bank or pet shelter. 
  • Resident-led clubs – May include game clubs, professional clubs, common interests, etc. that meet at least monthly.  

What’s more, it’s all right outside your door (or transportation is provided offsite) and all in a supportive environment with home maintenance, housekeeping, and restaurant-style dining freeing your time to make it even easier to stay active, engaged, and connected. 

Learn more about Vitality Living’s Vivid Life programs. Or find a Vitality Living community near you today to schedule a tour. 



Well-balanced meals contribute to a healthier life at any age. That’s no secret. What isn’t as well known, however, is just how much nutritional needs change after the age of 60. As metabolism slows, older adults require fewer calories each day. Because the body begins to process nutrients differently, the need for more vitamins and minerals might change, too.

What to Know About Nutrition for Seniors

Here are a few steps you can take to improve your nutrition if you are over the age of 60:

  • Follow the Rainbow: A healthy rule to live by is to eat the colors of the rainbow each day. This means incorporating at least five to seven fruits and vegetables in to your daily diet. Colorful foods like dark green leafy vegetables, red bell peppers, orange sweet potatoes, yellow bananas, and red apples are the key.
  • Step Away from the Salt Shaker: Even if you don’t have high blood pressure, too much sodium in your diet can put you on the fast track for developing it during retirement years. Cook with flavorful herbs instead of salt. Consider growing your own herbs during the summer and freezing them to use all winter long. Basil, dill, rosemary, sage, and tarragon are a few that add robust flavor to most dishes.
  • Incorporate Omega-3 Fatty Acids: While research about omega-3 fatty acids has been around for a while, many adults find it to be a bit confusing. It’s important to know that omega-3s can help protect your heart and your brain. Incorporating walnuts, flax seed, leafy greens, salmon, mackerel, lake trout, and tuna in to your diet twice a week can help you reap these heart and brain benefits.
  • Follow a Mediterranean Diet: This diet draws from areas of the world known as the “Blue Zones.” These are places where people live the longest. Residents of the Blue Zones eat a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and lentils with limited red meat. Studies show a Mediterranean diet is better for overall health, while also helping to lower the risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Much-Maligned Coffee: Over the years coffee has been much maligned. Some researchers said to avoid it, while others said it was safe. Studies finally seem to have landed on the conclusion that drinking two cups of coffee a day might actually be good for most people. It may help to control the inflammation believed to contribute to Alzheimer’s. But it isn’t safe for everyone, including those with cardiac disease. If you are a coffee drinker with heart or blood pressure problems, seek the advice of your physician.
  • Learn about Flavonols: A plant-based antioxidant to learn more about is flavonol. It is found in food and beverages such as tea, berries, cocoa, grapes, apples, and red wine. Researchers say flavonols can help with brain health, heart health, asthma, diabetes, and more.
  • Vitamin D Deficiency: Seniors deficient in vitamin D are at higher risk for falls and bone fractures. And older adults often suffer from this deficiency for reasons that range from a lack of sun exposure to problems with absorption. Make sure to discuss the need for a vitamin D supplement with your physician.

The Culinary Experience at Vitality Living

Residents at Vitality Living communities benefit from a culinary experience designed to promote healthy nutrition. Fresh, locally sourced foods are both nutritious and visually appealing. Meals are served at whatever time a resident desires. And there are a variety of in-house locations to enjoy a meal in ranging from a bistro to a restaurant-style dining room.

If you are just beginning to explore senior living, we have a resource you can download with our compliments. Download our Staying Home vs. Moving to Senior Living Guide to help you learn more about senior housing, gather tips for talking with an older loved one about moving, and much more!

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