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Senior Health: Are Fiber Supplements Safe?

Fiber is essential to keeping the digestive system healthy. For seniors in particular, it helps with bowel regularity, prevents constipation, decreases the risks of colon cancer and heart disease, and keeps blood glucose levels in check. Today, the professional caregivers from Home Care Assistance of Albuquerque are going to share some important information about fiber and safe ways to incorporate this complex carbohydrate into a senior’s diet.

Why Seniors May Need a Fiber Supplement

Although it is best to obtain fiber from food sources such as dark vegetables (carrots, beets, and broccoli), whole grains, and fruits (bananas, oranges, and strawberries), this is not always an option for seniors. Seniors may experience changes in appetite and ability to chew and swallow which makes it difficult to obtain the required 21 grams of fiber per day for women and 30 grams per day for men. This is when it may be appropriate to use a fiber supplement.

All About Fiber Supplements

Fiber supplements can benefit an older adult and are considered safe if they are administered thoughtfully. When a supplement is introduced into a senior’s diet, they must also increase their water intake. The recommended amount of water is at least 8 ounces (1 cup) per dose of fiber supplement. It is also important not to add too much fiber to the diet and to spread the amount of fiber consumed throughout the day. Too much fiber at one time or fiber taken with insufficient water can lead to dangerous bowel obstructions.

Meeting with a Primary Care Physician

Prior to making any changes to a senior loved one’s diet, schedule an appointment with his or her primary care physician. A physician can ensure that fiber supplements are the right choice for your loved one and may also be able to offer a particular type or brand that meets your loved one’s individual needs.

For more information about senior diet and health, don’t hesitate to contact the senior care experts at Home Care Assistance of Albuquerque, NM. We are a trusted, local provider of in-home care with trained caregivers who can assist with everything from nutritious meal preparation and medication reminders to personal care and transportation to medical appointments. Call us at (505) 798-0800 and request a complementary, no-obligation consultation today!