Accredited Home Care understands that promoting healthy nutrition in seniors can be difficult. As we age there are a number of reasons why our eating habits change also.
Why Eating Habits Change with Age
As we age our eating habits often change, however using in home care can help make the changes occur with less negative impact. It’s not uncommon to see a slight change in appetite with aging.
This can occur due to a number of things:
- Proper digestion & operation of a complex digestive system
- A decline in senses (smell , sight & taste all play a large part in a person’s desire to eat)
- Being less active
- Impaired ability to eat (problems with teeth, decreased ability to feed oneself due to stroke, crippling/painful arthritis, etc)
- Chronic Pain
- Other diseases
You can see by the list that some of these things will be a standard part of aging that may not be something you can change. However, other areas of the list are areas that can be addressed with proper medical care, lifestyle changes, and making special accommodations to intrigue their appetites.
Promoting Healthy Nutrition in Seniors:
6 Ways Home Health Care Can Help
One of the best ways that our services can help in promoting healthy nutrition in seniors is to utilize our homemaker services or other non-medical in home care.
- Meal Preparation – Having healthy, appealing foods prepared and ready to eat can help ensure that you will have the ability to eat nutritiously. We should encourage seniors to eat when they’re hungry; including eating healthy snacks and meals.
- Reminders – When caring for those with dementia there comes a point when the body doesn’t function properly; making it so they don’t recognize feelings of hunger and more. Providing dementia care at home allows for someone to gently remind them that “here’s a drink of water” or “would you like to try this milkshake (nutritional smoothie) I’m making?” Promoting healthy nutrition in seniors without nagging.
- Keep on Schedule – One way to approach the loss of appetite is to keep things on a regular schedule. Seniors often appreciate knowing what to expect each day; including meal times. A caregiver can help the household maintain a schedule.
- Favorites are Okay – Preparing a senior’s favorites, even if it’s not the most nutritious choice, along with other foods that are healthy is one way entice hunger. Let your caregiver prepare special “treats” without making issue about nutrition but make sure that you always have healthy choices available on their plates or in snack dishes.
- Sneak In Nutrition – There are a number of ways to sneak in healthy fruits and veggies into recipes, here’s a list of 50 recipes! Use quick & easy microwaveable foods, like these varieties (Trader Joe’s White Quinoa & Wegmans’ Quinoa & Brown Rice, Simply Balanced Southwestern Quinoa & brown rice) for a high protein, nutritious & flavorful side.
Learn Why Appetites Have Changed
It’s important to understand that as we age sometimes our appetites and our nutritional needs change. However, it’s also important to understand why there are changes; especially if the changes are somewhat alarming.
What to Consider
- Is there significant weight loss or gain
- If the change comes on suddenly
- Are there a lot of foods that are out of date in the house
- If you can pinpoint an appetite change with a new medication or event
- Be sure there’s not a problem with affording food (many seniors are too proud to tell you they are put in the spot of paying for medications or food)
Let Us Help
Please feel free to contact us a call if you notice that your senior loved one isn’t eating well. Promoting healthy nutrition in seniors is important and our caregivers can help ensure the seniors you love are eating well.
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