Eating well is a problem for millions of seniors. Seniors have a higher risk than other demographic groups of not getting enough to eat and being malnourished. Even seniors who have resources can become malnourished. Some of the reasons why senior don’t eat enough or don’t eat healthy foods are:
- Lack of appetite due to medication side effects or medical conditions.
- Shopping is difficult or confusing.
- They lack transportation to the store and back.
- They are having trouble managing money.
- They can’t carry heavy bags of groceries.
- They are depressed or don’t like cooking just for themselves.
- They can’t safely use the stove or other appliances.
Those are just a few of the reasons why seniors aren’t eating enough or aren’t eating the right foods when they do it. For the children of seniors who are malnourished or are in danger of becoming malnourished making sure their parents are eating and drinking enough can be a real challenge. Some of the things you can do to encourage your parent to eat regularly and eat healthy foods include:
- Shop for your parent and make sure there is always plenty of healthy foods in the house.
- Create a menu and make the same dishes on the same days each week.
- Make large batches of their favorite foods and freeze them in individual portions so they are easy to cook and eat.
- Cook meals together and eat together.
- Buy foods that are nutritious but easy for them to eat like fruit bars, protein shakes, and pre-packed salads.
- Get your parent new utensils and cups. Your parent may be having trouble using standard utensils or holding a regular glass or water bottle.
- Utensils and glasses designed for seniors with bigger handles and other accessibility upgrades may make it easier for them to eat and drink.
- Incorporate food into something you already do. For example, if you usually take your parent to the park on Saturdays include a stop for ice cream or some other snack as part of the outing.
The best thing you can do to get your parent to eat more and eat healthy is be flexible and look for ways to get them to eat whatever foods they will eat.
Home Care Can Help
Most children of senior parents would love the chance to spend all day every day with their parent, but that’s not usually feasible. If your work and family and other responsibilities mean that you have limited time to spend with your senior parent a home care worker can make sure that your parent is getting nutritious and delicious meals throughout the day. By providing companionship and cooking healthy meals for your senior a home care aide can encourage your parent to eat and make sure they are eating healthy foods. If your parent has special dietary needs, like needing diabetic friendly meals, having a care worker with you parent each day will ensure that your parent is getting the nutrition they need to stay healthy and strong.
If you or an aging loved one are considering non-medical in-home care in Jacksonville, FL, call Griswold Home Care
and speak to one of our caring staff members today. Call (904) 342-6040