A healthy diet is important for aging adults, who must receive the proper nutrition they need to maintain their physical health. Yet it’s common for older adults to lose interest in food as they experience changes in their bodies that can interfere with their enjoyment of meals. As a family caregiver, it’s important to understand the most common obstacles to a healthy diet along with these tips for ensuring your senior loved one gets the nutrition he or she needs to stay healthy.
Loss of Appetite
There are many reasons seniors may lose interest in eating, and it’s important to try to understand the underlying cause of your loved one’s loss of appetite. Sometimes a new medication could be the culprit. Ask your parent if he or she has experienced nausea or a change in the way food tastes so these symptoms can be mentioned to his or her physician. It’s also important to note that a desire to eat less could be due to the normal slowing of metabolism with age. If this is the case, make sure each meal is packed with nutrition.
If your loved one’s lack of appetite has come on suddenly, it’s worth scheduling a checkup to find out if there’s a physical cause. For instance, your loved one may be experiencing pain from ill-fitting dentures or have a gastrointestinal disorder that causes him or her to feel fuller.
If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of homecare services Columbus, OH, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
Lack of Companionship
Seniors who live alone are at greater risk for nutritional deficiencies if they lack the motivation to prepare healthy meals. Fortunately, this obstacle is easy to overcome by simply arranging for a companion to visit during mealtimes. Not only will this provide an opportunity to socialize, but seniors who eat with companions also tend to eat more and make healthier dietary choices. Between visits, talk to your loved one about the meals he or she has prepared, and share an interest regarding the impact of nutrition on his or her health.
Hiring a home caregiver can be a wonderful solution if your loved one needs companionship and socialization a few hours a week or minor assistance with daily household tasks. 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.
Difficulties with Meal Planning
There are many factors that go into meal planning that can make it challenging to stick to a healthy diet. Find out if your loved one needs transportation assistance to go grocery shopping, and make the appropriate arrangements to ensure he or she has the ingredients to cook three meals a day. Seniors who are unaccustomed to eating healthy or cooking for a single adult may benefit from assistance with meal planning and preparation. By taking an active interest in your loved one’s eating habits, you can ensure he or she receives the nutrition he or she needs each day.
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. Columbus, OH, Home Care Assistance are leaders 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. For more information about our flexible, customizable home care plans, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (614) 481-8888.