Home Care in Charlotte, NC – Practice Good Nutrition, and Spend Time Together, in October
Good nutrition is one of the areas that families worry about their elderly loved ones. There are solid research findings that show many seniors are not getting the quantity or quality of food they need to retain good health. Your elderly family member may be facing one of a number of obstacles to good nutrition. These are as follows.
- Obstacles to good nutrition for elderly people
- Going grocery shopping
- Being able to prepare meals
- Being able to tell when food has expired or gone bad
- Loneliness – many won’t eat if they have to eat alone again
- Problems cutting, chewing or swallowing food
- If you suspect your elder family member is having difficulties with any of these areas, consider in-home care service. A caregiver can help out with grocery shopping and meal preparation for a few hours each day. Your loved one would have help and company for a main daily meal and you could rest assured they are eating something nutritious.
Preparing meals ahead of time
It’s important for your loved one to plan meals and have a shopping list, so she can keep her fridge and cupboards full of healthy food choices. Her caregiver can help her to prep some of the food ahead of time so when she is alone for a meal she will have a head start. Meals don’t have to be complicated to be good for you and taste great. She could have some single serving meals in the freezer for days she only wants to warm something up.
Eat better, eat together
Did you know that meals are more likely to be healthy when families eat together? Unhealthy junk-foods are less likely to appear and fruits, vegetables and whole grains are more likely to take a front seat at the meal? Yes, that’s right! It’s partly the fun of eating and visiting together and partly the urge to feed everyone wholesome food.
It’s no different for your elderly loved one. Loneliness is a big barrier to healthy eating for the senior person. Meals aren’t fun or interesting anymore when they often eat alone. It’s so much nicer to have good company, and it increases a person’s appetite. Eating is more than filling the hunger need, it’s also a cultural thing and a human need. See if you can plan some little lunch get-togethers for your senior loved one, or invite them to a family dinner more often.
Everyone can help when it comes to meal time. Younger children can set the table, pour the beverages, and fold the napkins. Older ones can help gather ingredients, put them together for salads or casseroles or other recipes. They can cook, stir, wash and cut vegetables. Involve your senior as well. It’s important they are included. They can sit and slice tomatoes or something that’s suited to their abilities. This is a time to include everyone.