Do you honestly enjoy making shopping lists, planning meals, preparing meals, and cleaning up? Add a few decades of repeating those tasks, and it’s small wonder some seniors fall into bad eating habits. But there’s more. As we age, those tasks can become more physically challenging, our taste buds begin to dull, and our appetite is reduced.
The good news is that if there’s an older adult for whom you have concerns about diet, there are ways you can help without becoming overwhelmed yourself. The first step is to become better informed.
According to studies by the NIH/National Institute on Aging, a good diet in later years reduces risk of osteoporosis, high blood pressure, heart diseases, and even certain cancers. As you age, you might need less energy and fewer calories, but you still need just as many nutrients. That’s why a varied diet is essential. So, take a look into your loved one’s refrigerator and pantry. If it looks monotonous to you, it’s probably not healthy for them.
Also, check for foods that are full of calories, but contain few nutrients, such as chips, cookies, soda, and alcohol, and encourage the person to gradually replace these with healthy alternatives such as fruit, vegetables, water, and juices. Each step you take will bring them closer to healthy eating.
Here at Simpson Meadows, we pride ourselves on understanding the nutritional and other needs of older adults. Please give us a call; we’d love to help with any concerns you may have, including the need for our superb Memory Care programs. Call (484) 364-3861 or visit www.simpsonmeadows.org today.
Getting a few things off your own plate.
Where can you get some help in helping them?
- Good nutrition begins with a good shopping list. After you’ve helped them create one, check your area for stores that deliver. You may be able to set this up on your computer so that with a click of your mouse, you’ve done their shopping for them each week.
- Look into meals at a nearby senior center, community center, or religious facility. Not only will they enjoy a free or low-cost meal, but they will have some company while they dine.
- Finally, make a list of their medications and call their family doctor or pharmacist to confirm that foods they are eating do not interfere with the effectiveness of those pills.