Seniors need a nutritious, balanced diet that gives their bodies fuel to keep going. Your aging loved one may begin to experience changes in eating habits with age, and these can dramatically interfere with the ability to get proper nutrition. Watch out for these common roadblocks to eating well in the senior years, and be ready to use these ideas to overcome each one.
Make Food More Appealing
One of the biggest complaints seniors have about eating is that they can no longer taste the food. This is sometimes a normal part of aging, since their taste buds begin to decrease. While you can’t bring back your loved one’s taste buds, you can make food more palatable by using fresh herbs and other seasonings to increase the flavor. Choosing colorful foods can also increase the appeal of meals.
If preparing nutritious meals for your loved one every day is challenging for you, a professional caregiver can be a wonderful resource. At-home care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Adjust Your Cooking Method
Hard vegetables might not be so easy for your loved one to eat anymore. If your loved one has difficulty swallowing or chewing, try steaming hard foods. You might also want to use techniques such as making a stew to soften meat. It’s also possible your loved one simply dislikes certain textures. Experiment with your cooking methods until you find a few hit recipes.
Accommodate Changes in Their Abilities
Seniors who live alone may stop eating well when cooking becomes too much of a challenge. This is often due to an inability to cut up food or stand for long periods. Identify your loved one’s challenges and find ways to accommodate them. For example, your loved one might need someone to come over and prep ingredients to cook with throughout the week.
A home caregiver can help your loved one plan and prepare nutritious meals. Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving live-in care. Montgomery, AL, Home Care Assistance is a leader in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.
Stimulate Their Appetite
Seniors may not have much of an appetite, which is another common age-related issue that arises when metabolism slows down. Appetite loss could also be related to medication. Try to help your loved one burn off energy during the morning hours so he or she feels hungry for lunch and dinner. You might also want to adjust meals to fit your loved one’s medication schedule.
Address Physical Barriers to Eating
Poor oral health, stomach issues, and joint pain can all affect your parent’s enjoyment of meals. Watch for signs your loved one is uncomfortable while eating. You may need to address things such as poorly fitting dentures with the doctor.
Provide Company During Meals
Everyone enjoys sharing a meal with the people they love. Lonely seniors are more likely to settle for junk food while they watch television on the couch. Others may simply skip eating their meals altogether. Provide your loved one with someone to eat with at least several times a week. This person can watch out for signs of poor eating habits while encouraging your loved one to eat healthier meals.
In Montgomery, senior home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. To learn more about our reliable, compassionate in-home care services, contact us at (334) 593-3988 today.