Nutrition is an important element of living a healthy lifestyle at any age. Unfortunately, older adults sometimes have difficulty getting enough nutrition for a number of reasons. Understanding what some of the challenges associated with senior nutrition and knowing how to overcome them are vital to keeping your aging relative healthy. Below are 4 challenges you may encounter and tips for helping seniors through them.
Challenge #1: Eating Alone is Lonely
Older adults who are living alone may find mealtimes lonely reminders of the people they have lost and the passage of time. Eating is no longer a joyful occasion with conversation and companionship.
Tip: Eat with your aging relative as often as you can. Also, try arranging for other family members and friends to dine with them. You can also look for community and church events for them to attend. Another way to provide companionship is through elder care. An elder care provider can keep the senior company while they eat.
Challenge #2: Food Doesn’t Taste as Good
Food may not taste the same with age because of changes to taste buds. As a result, food may be unappetizing.
Tip: Add flavor to food with herbs, spices, vinegar, and lemon juice. Avoid using salt as too much sodium contributes to high blood pressure. Offer a variety of foods to keep the older adult from getting bored with what they eat. Variety also helps ensure they get all the nutrients they need. Use foods with bright colors and make the plate look appealing to spark interest. Eldercare can prepare delicious and healthy meals using herbs, spices, and plenty of colorful, healthy ingredients.
Challenge #3: Getting to the Store is Hard
Older adults often have to stop driving because of health or mobility problems that make driving unsafe. They may have to wait for someone to be able to drive them to the grocery store or may resort to shopping at a nearby convenience store where fewer healthy ingredients are available.
Tip: Plan to pick your aging relative up to do their grocery shopping when you do yours. Another option is to have an elder care provider to drive them to the grocery store. The elder care provider can also help them to reach high shelves, push the cart, and carry heavy grocery bags.
Challenge #4: Cooking is Difficult or Too Much Trouble
Arthritic hands, lack of strength, or other health conditions may make it hard for your aging relative to make balanced meals. Or, they may think cooking for one is just too much trouble. That could cause them to rely on unhealthy convenience foods to keep their stomachs full, such as highly processed frozen dinners or fast food, which tend to contain lots of fat, sugar, and salt.
Tip: Consider spending a day or two each month cooking meals that can be frozen and reheated. This will give your loved one the convenience of heating up a frozen dinner, but with healthy ingredients. Eldercare can also cook meals for older adults. They can cook fresh meals daily or cook a few meals ahead of time to be frozen.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring Homecare in Linden, NJ, call the caring staff at Helping Hands Home Care today at 908-418-4299. Providing Home Care Services in all of Northern and Central NJ, including Clark, Westfield, Cranford, Scotch Plains, Rahway, Linden, Summit, Edison, Elizabeth, Mountainside and the surrounding areas.
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