Most seniors don’t like thinking about changing their diets, even if their doctors have told them that they have to do so. But the reality is that getting the right nutritional intake can help with a lot of chronic health issues. It can also help seniors to stay strong and to age in place for a longer period of time. Home care assistance can make all of this easier for both seniors and family caregivers.
Plan Meals in Advance
Meal planning sounds like a big task and it truly can be. But it is also an effective way to ensure that aging adults are eating plenty of foods that are nutritionally dense and that their diet is balanced. Family caregivers might consider starting with their senior’s doctor to address specific dietary needs. From there, working around preferences, allergies, and other factors is vital as well. Meal planning ultimately saves time, especially if seniors are a little pickier about what they’re eating.
Manage Dietary Restrictions
Adapting to dietary changes and restrictions is not always the easiest thing to do. Using new cooking methods, ditching sodium or sugar, and trying new foods may be the last thing that a senior wants to do. It can all feel like too much effort as well. Home care assistance can take a huge load off seniors’ shoulders when it comes to meal preparation. They can prepare batches of meals, making it easy for seniors to grab meals and snacks at the right times.
Incorporate Nutrient-dense Foods
Plenty of seniors know what they should be eating, but they don’t necessarily want to eat those foods. But the reality is that they do need to get the right balance of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Protein is also important for seniors because it helps them to maintain muscle strength. Choosing foods that are rich in nutritional value can be easier if seniors feel like they truly have choices. When meal prepping, family caregivers might want to consider widening the options instead of narrowing them too much.
Consider Supplements if They Might Boost Nutrition
Some seniors may have nutritional needs that are bigger than their diet can contain. In those cases, they may need to supplement their diet with vitamins and minerals or with something else, like prepared nutritional shakes. It’s always a good idea to ensure that their doctors are aware before planning to go this route, however, because some supplements can interfere with medications and other treatments.
Monitor Food and Water Intake
It’s all too easy for seniors to undereat and to be dehydrated. Home care assistance can help, though. They can monitor how much and how often seniors are eating, including tracking water intake. This information can be really important when seniors are battling health issues, avoiding malnutrition, and trying to stay hydrated. Keeping food journals can also help seniors to spot what foods give them better energy and which foods they might want to avoid because they feel lousy afterward. Sometimes a food journal is more effective than a nutritional lecture.
Proper nutrition is absolutely vital for seniors. If their goal is to live life to the fullest, aging adults need to be able to keep their bodies fueled. That’s a lot easier to do with the help of home care providers and the tips above.