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The Essential Benefits of a Healthy Breakfast for Seniors

Everyone knows that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” but it’s especially true for older people. A healthy breakfast gives them a good start to the day and offers many benefits that support their well-being as a whole. If seniors typically struggle with breakfast, the elder care team and loved ones can assist, encouraging them to start the day off right on a consistent basis. Continue reading to learn more about the benefits breakfast brings.

Better Brain Health

For seniors, starting the day with a healthy breakfast can increase their cognitive brain functioning. Whole grains, fruits, and meats make up a well-balanced meal that gives them important nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamins B and D. These nutrients are thought to be good for brain health because they help with memory and focus, as well as general brain function.

Energy Boost

As people get older, their natural energy levels tend to drop. But a healthy breakfast can give them the energy they need to start the day. Complex carbohydrates, which are found in fruits and whole grains, give them energy slowly, so they don’t get the rapid energy boosts and drops that come with sugary snacks. This long-lasting energy is important for seniors to keep up a busy lifestyle and do daily tasks. An elder care team can help seniors understand how different foods affect their energy.

Nutrient Absorption

Seniors can get important nutrients that they might not be getting enough of otherwise during breakfast. For example, calcium and vitamin D are important for keeping bones healthy and avoiding osteoporosis. Both of these are common at breakfast time. Additionally, consuming dairy products, foods with added vitamins and minerals, and getting some sun in the morning can all promote better nutrient absorption.

Weight Loss

A healthy breakfast is important for adults who are trying to lose weight. If they skip breakfast, they might eat too much later or pick snacks that aren’t as good for them. A varied breakfast helps control hunger and keep them at a healthy weight by getting their metabolism going early in the morning. This is another area where the elder team can help, offering thoughts for healthy meal planning.

Blood Sugar Control

People over 65 are more likely to get diseases like diabetes. A breakfast that is well-balanced with proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates can help keep blood sugar levels in check. In turn, this lowers the chance of insulin resistance and improves metabolic health as a whole.

Heart Health

A good breakfast can have a positive effect on heart health, which is very important for seniors. Fiber-rich foods, like whole grains, fruits, and nuts, help keep the heart healthy and lower cholesterol.

In the end, a good breakfast is an important part of being healthy for seniors. Seniors who make eating a healthy breakfast a priority can improve their brain function, get more energy, and more. With the help of the elder care team and loved ones, seniors can enjoy breakfast and get their day started in the right way.


If you or an aging loved one is considering elder care in Phoenix, AZ, please call the caring staff at Golden Heart Senior Care of Scottsdale at (480) 284-7360. We are here to help!

Managing Vertigo in Seniors

If your parent has been complaining about the room spinning or feeling unsteady on her feet, she might be suffering from vertigo. Vertigo is a symptom of various things that could be occurring in a person’s body and causes someone to feel dizzy and off-balance while having a sensation that the room is spinning around. It can be a bit frightening the first time it happens, but vertigo is generally not serious.

Vertigo tends to occur more often in women and those who are over 65. If you are caring for an elderly parent, she might find herself experiencing vertigo at some point because 40% of the population will get a spell of it occasionally. Most attacks only last a few seconds or minutes and are often compared to motion sickness, where the room seems to be rocking, spinning, or tilting.

Some common vertigo causes can be:

  • Migraine headaches.
  • Some medications.
  • Prolonged bed rest.
  • Stroke.
  • Arrhythmia.
  • Diabetes.
  • Head injuries.
  • Shingles in or near the ear.
  • Peri lymphatic fistula (when inner ear fluid leaks into the middle ear).
  • Hyperventilation.
  • Low blood pressure (orthostatic hypotension) – a condition in which blood pressure decreases when a person stands up.
  • Ataxia, or muscle weakness.
  • Syphilis.
  • Otosclerosis (a bone growth problem affecting the middle ear).
  • Brain disease.
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS).
  • Acoustic neuroma.

If your parent is suffering from consistent vertigo, finding the cause of this nauseating symptom will be very important. There will be several tests your parent’s doctor can do to help determine the exact cause.

While caring for an elderly loved one, one of the biggest concerns may be your loved one stumbling and falling when vertigo sets in. It may be beneficial to hire an elder care provider to be on hand to assist your parent in household chores when vertigo sets in or help your parent traverse up and down the stairs, and even across the room when the vertigo is strong.

There are also several precautionary steps your parent can take to prevent or lessen the onset of vertigo.

  1. Your parent should take her time standing up, turning her head, and making any other movements that may trigger vertigo (such as looking up quickly). An elder care provider can help her stand up slowly if vertigo sets in.
  2. When vertigo sets in, sitting down as soon as she feels dizzy will help reduce the risk of falling. She should grab the elbow of someone who is around and have them walk her to the nearest seat and see if she can wait out the vertigo attack.
  3. Sleep with her head elevated by two pillows. Some vertigo attacks are triggered when lying prone in bed and can make getting out of bed difficult. If your parent still lives alone, even if she has an elder care provider come by during the day, she’ll need to develop techniques to get out of bed safely in the morning. The two pillow trick may prevent the vertigo from even setting in.
  4. If something needs to be picked up, encourage your parent to squat to pick it up instead of bending over.


If you or an aging loved one is considering elder care in Phoenix, AZ, please call the caring staff at Golden Heart Senior Care of Scottsdale at (480) 284-7360. We are here to help!

5 Things that Interfere with a Senior’s Sleep

There are many things that can affect a senior’s ability to sleep soundly and get the rest they need. Getting adequate sleep is very important for the body’s immune system, fighting infection and disease, physical health, mental functioning and coping with stress. If a senior isn’t getting enough sleep, it should be brought to the doctor’s attention.

1- Aging Naturally Changes Sleep Patterns

It’s common for seniors to naturally get tired earlier, wake up earlier, and sometimes wake up in the night due to natural changes in their brain as they age. As adults age, the brain’s “master clock center ” (the suprachiasmatic nucleus) leads to changes in the senior’s circadian rhythms, which influence things like when the body feels sleepy or alert.

2- Health Conditions

There are numerous health conditions that can interrupt a good night’s sleep. Sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome and nocturia are just a few. Many seniors have multiple health conditions at once, which add up to a big risk for disturbed sleep.

3- Medications

A number of medications can interfere with sleep. Talk to the doctor or pharmacist about whether any of your medications may be interrupting yours.

4- Pain

Not only can pain contribute to sleeplessness, but sleeplessness can in turn, make pain worse, which can quickly turn into a vicious cycle.

5- Caring for a Loved One Throughout the Night

Being a family caregiver can be wonderfully rewarding, but when sleep is disrupted every night in order to care for your family loved one’s needs, it can severely impact your health.

How Elder Care can Support a Senior’s Sleep

Elder care services can help seniors and family caregivers who are struggling to get enough shut-eye to feel and function at their best.

Regular Exercise Support

Elder care aides can walk with seniors routinely, a practice that many seniors find enjoyable, motivating and reassuring. Elder care aides can help with transportation to the pool, gym or balance class, strolls through the park or out in the garden. Regular activity has been shown to promote better sleep, and getting outside for sunshine and fresh air only enhances the effect.

Consistent Sleeping Schedule and Bedtime Routine

An important step in good sleep “hygiene”, as they say, is to get up and go to bed at the same time each day. Many seniors find this to be much easier with the assistance of an elder care aide, who can show up at the same time each morning and assist with morning routines, personal care, walks, breakfast or other needs.

A bedtime routine can be especially powerful when you include a few soothing features to get your body and mind ready to rest.

  • Allow time to wind down with the lights dimmed
  • Listen to calming music
  • Drink some chamomile tea
  • Enjoy relaxing aromatherapy
  • Take a warm bath
  • Gently rub lotion on your back, legs or feet

Overnight Assistance for Loved Ones

Some families find that when elder care can take care of a senior’s needs during the night, the family caregiver is able to get much better sleep and find themselves in a much better health, spirits and position for caregiving. Savvy family caregivers may arrange for the night elder care aide to take care of the laundry, clean the cat box or put away the dishes while they are there, which can buy valuable time and energy for the next day.


If you or an aging loved one is considering hiring elder care in Phoenix, AZ, please call the caring staff at Golden Heart Senior Care of Scottsdale at (480) 284-7360. We are here to help!