Eating well is a basic tenet of health for all people. For elderly adults proper nutrition and getting enough to eat on a regular basis, can become more difficult. Your senior may struggle with physical challenges that keep them from being able to prepare their meals, cognitive functioning decline that prevents them from remembering when, how, or why to eat, or depression and other mental health issues that make it less appealing to prepare meals, and eat alone. As their family caregiver, it is extremely important for you to find ways to encourage your senior to eat enough so they can get the nutrition that they needed to help their body thrive.
Use these tips to encourage your senior to eat enough as they age in place:
- Make sure your parent is properly hydrated. Not getting enough water can cause the brain to suppress appetite, further discouraging your senior from eating enough.
- Don’t feel that eating three meals a day is necessary. Consider breaking these up into several smaller meals so your parent does not become overwhelmed, and can enjoy each small meal.
- Make sure your senior’s teeth are in good condition. An elderly adult who is struggling with mouth pain due to teeth that are damaged, poorly fitting dentures, or mouth sores may not be prone to eat enough. Check their teeth, and encourage them to visit a dentist, so they can get painful issues remediated and improve their eating.
- Find ways to increase calories and nutrition in each meal or healthy snack. If your parent is enjoying a smoothie, for example, add in protein powder. Mix vegetables and cheese into their scrambled eggs. Add extra vegetables and potatoes to soups. Mix powdered milk into sauces.
- Eat with them. Rather than requiring them to eat by themselves, make it an effort to share meals with them. Consider having them over to your house to eat with your family, or go to their house to eat. Simply making eating a more social activity can make a tremendous difference for your aging parent.
The completely customizable nature of the services a home care provider offers to your parent is one of the reasons why this type of care arrangement can be particularly beneficial for your senior. If your aging parent only has mild to moderate needs, or extensive challenges and limitations, an in-home senior care services provider can help them to manage these needs in the ways that are right for them. Not only does this help your senior to stay safer and healthier, but it also boost mental and emotional well-being by creating a greater sense of independence and autonomy as your senior ages in place. For elderly adults proper nutrition can improve their quality of life, and help them to enjoy a more meaningful lifestyle as they age in place. For you as their family caregiver, this type of care can relieve your stress, create more flexibility in your schedule, and allow you to focus more on your parent-child relationship.
For home care services in Woolwich Township, NJ, and the surrounding areas, call and talk to us at Home to Stay Healthcare Solutions (856) 321-1500.