Nutrition is an important concern as your senior loved one ages. When you think about it, there’s a lot that goes into preparing a healthy meal. Between grocery shopping, chopping ingredients, and doing all the cleanup, seniors might face difficulty with any or all of the steps required to put healthy meals together. By keeping an eye on your loved one’s general health, you can make sure he or she is eating the food necessary to continue to age in comfort.
Watch for Major Weight Gain or Loss
Some seniors choose to lose weight to manage health conditions such as diabetes. However, you might need to ask if your loved one has lost weight on purpose if he or she is significantly smaller than the last time you saw him or her. Gaining weight could also be a sign of eating too much junk food because cooking healthy meals is too difficult.
A professional caregiver can help your loved one plan and prepare nutritious meals. Every senior has different needs when aging in place. Some simply need occasional assistance with household chores, while others may be managing serious illnesses and require more extensive live-in care. Fort Myers seniors can count on Home Care Assistance to provide the in-home care they need and deserve.
Assess Your Loved One’s Overall Energy
Malnutrition can cause changes in behavior, and one of the most notable ones is a general feeling of malaise. Without consuming enough calories, the body can’t produce enough energy to manage daily needs. Vitamin deficiencies can also impact behavior. If your parent is tired, overly cranky, or even confused, it might be worth undergoing a nutritional assessment to make sure his or her body is getting what it needs from his or her diet.
Ask to Cook Together
Most seniors love it when their family members ask to join them for meals, and cooking together is a wonderful way for you to bond with your loved one. As you cook together, pay careful attention to each step. Make sure there’s plenty of food in the refrigerator and pantry and that your loved one is able to open jars and cut up ingredients. As the cooking session gets underway, check to see if your loved one seems to be completely aware of what he or she is doing. Not remembering a simple recipe or walking away from food that’s about to burn could be signs your loved one is having cognitive challenges that interfere with the ability to prepare a meal.
If your loved one needs help with grocery shopping and planning nutritious meals, a professional caregiver can be a wonderful resource. Homecare providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Inquire about Recent Health Tests
Seniors who stop eating well might see changes show up during their regular physical exams. If your loved one has a chronic health condition such as diabetes, his or her recent health tests might show it’s no longer getting better or under control. Some seniors may also develop high cholesterol or blood sugar levels for the first time. Seeing that a poor diet is impacting your loved one’s health is a sign you need to take action. Planning for help with meal preparation can get your parent back on track with eating well.
In Fort Myers, home care service 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. Contact one of our experienced Care Managers today at (239) 449-4701 to learn more about our reliable in-home care services