At least 50% of the kidney patients who consult a nephrologist are elders. Yes, seniors are more susceptible to chronic kidney disease. Nearly 40% of the elder population aged 60 and above have impaired kidney function.
Senior kidney problems arise due to age, age-related illnesses, lifestyle habits like smoking and drinking, medication and even herbal preparations.
Chronic kidney disease in elders manifests its symptoms as constant thirst, frequent urination, increased fatigue, skin rashes, shortness of breath, high blood pressure and difficulty in controlling diabetes. These kidney ailments can be redressed with healthy food for kidneys, regular exercise and healthy hobbies for elders.
Here are some senior fitness tips that help elders keep their kidney s healthy throughout their life.
Senior fitness tips for healthy kidneys
Seniors must adhere to a strict regimen with a controlled diet, regular exercise, adequate fluid intake, control of blood sugar and salt levels etc to keep their kidneys healthy. Here are some simple Senior fitness tips for healthy kidneys.
- Controlled diet and healthy food for kidneys
Seniors must eat foods rich in antioxidants to help them sustain their kidney health. In general, elders should limit intake of foods rich in Sodium, Potassium, Phosphorus and Protein.
Recommended intake of minerals for seniors
Sodium – 2000 mg per day
Potassium-2000 mg per day
Calcium- 800-1000mg per day
Foods to eat
- Vegetables- Cabbage, Cauliflower, Red Bell Peepers, Onions, Garlic
- Fruits-Apples, Cherries, Red grapes, All kinds of berries like Strawberries, Raspberries, Blueberries, Cranberries
- Animal Products- Egg white, Fish
- Whole grains- Buckwheat, Bulgur, Barley
- Oil-Olive oil
Foods to limit/avoid
All these foods listed below are rich in Potassium and must be limited by seniors to ensure good kidney health.
- Vegetables – Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Tomatoes, Avocados, Spinach, Beet greens, Leafy greens
- Fruits- Bananas , Apricots, Oranges or Orange juice
- Dry fruits and nuts- Dates, raisins, prunes
- Dairy-Cow or buffalo milk and Milk products can be substituted with almond milk or rice milk.
- Meat- Processed meat like Sausage, Bacon, Hot dogs, Jerky, Pepperoni
- Whole Wheat & Brown Rice
- Snacks-Pretzels, Crackers, chips
- Carbonated drinks and colas
- Canned food
- Adequate Fluid intake
Senior must drink at least 2 litres of water throughout the day. They can also have juicy fruits and vegetables that have a lot of water content like watermelons, muskmelons, pumpkin, cucumber etc to keep them hydrated and their kidneys safe.
- Restrict salt and sugar intake
Elders must limit their salt intake to 1 tsp or 5-6 grams per day to keep their kidneys healthy. Salt intake can also be cut down by avoiding restaurant food, junk food, processed food and canned food.
Seniors must monitor their blood sugar levels and keep diabetes in check to prevent Kidney failure. Even food at senior living homes is prepared with limited salt and sugar to help seniors maintain their kidney health.
Seniors must be more responsible for their health in order to prevent kidney disease. they can do this by altering their lifestyle in the following ways
- Quit smoking and drinking
- Eat only fresh and home-cooked food
- Avoid canned, processed and restaurant food
- Maintain the correct weight and BMI for your age
- Have some physical activity every day for 30 min.
Seniors must do mild exercises or involve in some physical activity for at least 30 min every day. Walking, Running, Cycling, Gardening, Swimming, Aerobic exercises and Yoga are best for elders. Seniors can even do simple household chores as part of their exercise. Such healthy hobbies for elders are encouraged at senior living homes to keep elders fit, active and free from kidney disease.
How senior living homes help elders maintain healthy kidneys?
Senior living homes or assisted living facilities show special care to ensure senior health through these measures
- Food at senior living homes is always freshly cooked with the right vegetables or fruits to help elders maintain kidney health
- Salt and sugar content is limited in the food at senior living homes.
- Senior living homes encourage healthy hobbies for elders like walking, gardening etc to keep them physically fit and active.
- The right medication prescribed by doctors is administered to elders to keep their diabetes, blood pressure and kidney ailments in control.
- Regular health check-ups are done to monitor the vital parameters of elders and ensure their good health
Seniors can preserve their kidney health even in their golden years by following these simple rules at their residences or in senior living homes.