Make meals easy
We all tend to become low on energy as we age. With this comes a lack of energy or motivation to even perform daily tasks such as meal preparation. And that is accompanied by poor nutrition if care is not taken to ensure an elderly person is eating properly.
A first step in making sure our seniors eat healthily is to make meals easy to prepare.
Grocery stores sell a wide variety of pre-processed foods that make cooking an ease. They also sell simple but nutritious single serve meals that can be easily heated up. Fruits are a great source of nutrition in this case because they do not require much processing or cooking but provide excellent minerals, vitamins and nutrients for the body.
For seniors who have difficulty chewing, there are juicers and mechanical softeners that can be used to make food easier to swallow.
Make meals social
Studies have shown that it is much more difficult to adhere to eating nutritious meals when eating alone. Providing seniors with the company of family, other seniors, neighbors or friends during meals can work wonders for stimulating their appetite.
Many seniors become depressed and experience a loss of appetite when they are left to eat alone for long periods of time. There are many ways to make meal times incredibly social for seniors: start a potluck club, have a picnic or join a mall walker program (where they have breakfast after walks).
Seniors can also be encouraged to eat out in the neighborhood. Several cafes offer discount for senior meals and these should be taken advantage of.
Enhance with flavor
To cater for seniors who have low appetites, nutritious meals should be enhanced with flavor. Stir-frying green vegetables in a little oil with aromatic spices can change a usually bland meal into a delicious one.
Shop for bargains
Eating nutritious meals can certainly come at a high price at times. Seniors must be encouraged to maintain nutritious diets by helping them find great bargains on groceries. A senior might be malnourished for several reasons, including low income and inability to afford to nutritious ingredients. Many supplementary minerals and vitamins are also costly. Bargains at produce markets and discount stores will help a great deal in getting seniors the nutrition they need.
Lastly, providing transportation to the grocery store can be a great way to encourage seniors to seek balanced diets. Physical disability will directly factor into decreased movement and disinterest in shopping.
- Ask if you can offer them a ride so they can shop themselves. They gives one a feeling of autonomy and a feeling of being in control ; a something that can easily be felt as lost as a person ages.
- Encourage mobility assistive devices as needed. Wheelchairs and walkers can help some seniors move around on their own and perform tasks they otherwise may not be able to do.
These are all ways that caregivers, friends, neighbors and family can all help in promoting excellent nutrition in older adults.
At Effraim Home Care LLC, providers of the top senior care Bryn Mawr residents trust, our experienced caregivers are equipped with the knowledge to help you or your loved ones make the right nutrition choices. Call us on 215-826-7422 so we can explore how we can meet your needs or the needs of a loved one.