For so many aging adults, eating becomes such a complicated process that they avoid it more often than they should. There are some things that you can do to help your senior to not only enjoy eating more, but also to ensure that she’s getting the best nutritional boost possible from her meals. Work with your senior’s doctor to help understand just what your elderly family member needs nutritionally.
You May Need to Get Creative with Menus
What your senior eats now might not be the best food for her to be eating. Convenience foods are easy to grab, but they’re often full of sugar, salt, or both. They also usually contain other preservatives that might not be optimal choices for your senior’s steady diet. Whole foods, including fruits and vegetables, are a much better choice from a nutritional standpoint. Adding them to her menus can get tricky if you aren’t creative.
Don’t Forget to Include Food She Enjoys
As important as it is for your senior to have healthy food choices as often as possible, it’s equally vital that she enjoys what she’s eating on a regular basis. This might mean adjusting some of her favorite dishes to make them just a little bit healthier. Sneaking vegetables into a chocolate smoothie might take some practice, but it’s possible.
Consider Simplifying the Table
Something else that you might not have considered is that the table and place settings themselves can be a little much for your senior’s senses. If you simplify, it can be easier for her to see her food on the plate. Things like plain, brightly colored plates that don’t have patterns contrast with most foods and allow your senior to concentrate on what she’s eating. Same for tablecloths and place-mats. Simpler is better.
Assistive Eating Tools Help, Too
There are some tools you might consider for eating, too, that can be helpful. Weighted utensils help your senior to balance them, especially if she has trouble hanging onto them. She might also want to try utensils that have larger handles, especially with squishy grips on the handles, because those can be easier to hold and to use.
The more that your senior can do on her own, the more she maintains her independence. That’s a huge boost to her self-confidence. But there are situations that require additional help, like eating on occasion. Home care providers can help your senior to get the nutrition that she needs without making her feel as if she’s losing parts of herself.
Excerpt: It’s important to rethink eating for your senior, especially if she’s having difficulty getting the nutrition she needs.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Home Care Central Point, OR, please contact the caring staff at Southern Oregon In-Home Care today! Proudly Serving Seniors in Josephine & Jackson Counties, Oregon. Call us today! (541) 236-4247.
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