When your elderly family member hears the phrase “healthier eating,” does that usually shut the conversation down? There are reasons for that, particularly if your elderly family member faces some genuine challenges around eating a healthy diet. Home care assistance as well as input from your senior’s doctor can all help her to make the best possible decisions around food and meals.
Get Her Doctor’s Input on Her Dietary Needs
The first step is to talk with your senior’s doctor about her current diet and what her actual dietary needs are. This can vary greatly depending on your senior’s overall health and any current or anticipated health issues. Once she has the information she needs from her doctor, your elderly family member can make better decisions about her eating habits.
Look at the Challenges She Faces Around Healthy Eating
What keeps your senior from healthy eating now? She may be eating healthier than she realizes, especially once she gets more information from her doctor. But a common problem, especially for seniors, is that it takes a lot of time and effort to put healthy meals together, so it’s easier to rely on pre-packaged meals or takeout. Home care assistance can make a huge difference for your senior in preparing healthy meals on a daily basis.
Brainstorm Solutions to Those Challenges
After you understand the different challenges that keep your senior from eating a healthier diet, you can start to look at solutions for those problems. Senior home care is one answer, and another might be working with a nutritionist or a dietician who can help to put together a diet that gets your senior the nutrients she needs while also getting her the flavors she wants. For every roadblock that keeps your senior from eating healthier, there is a solution that is likely to work for her.
Keep up with What Helps and What Doesn’t
Even the best solutions may not always work for your elderly family member. For instance, eating more whole grains may be important for your senior, but she may find that she dislikes brown rice even though she knows that’s the more nutritious choice. There are other whole grains out there, so she can try others. Keeping a food journal or another type of log can help her to see what she’s enjoying and the benefits those changes offer to her.
Remember that You Don’t Have to Make Big Changes All at Once
It’s tempting to dive right into making all sorts of changes in your senior’s diet. But the bigger the overhaul is, the more difficult it’s going to be for your senior to stick with it. That’s true even with the help of home care assistance. What might work a lot better overall is for your senior to make smaller changes more gradually until she’s finally eating how she wants to be eating.
Eating a healthier diet is a big goal and it’s one that your senior can make some serious progress with over time. What matters most is that she’s getting plenty of good nutrition and that she’s eating in a way that supports her body’s needs.