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Home Care Nutrition: Elderly Approved, Safe and Healthy Snacks

Dec 13, 2017 by Clark Bongaardt

Home Care Nutrition: Elderly Approved, Safe and Healthy Snacks


 

Most kids who are fussy eaters, grow up to be reluctant about food. There are exceptions but, most elderly people begin to show less and less interest in having their meals as their age progresses. You, as a family member along with the in-home care professional, should try to keep your elderly parent nourished properly.

 

Unfortunately, it often becomes a futile exercise no matter whether the food is being supplied by a reputed organization or is being cooked at home.

 

The reduced appetite often makes it all the more important for you or the in-home caregiver have a sound knowledge of home care nutrition so that the aged person can get his nutritional needs met. It's not wise to let your elderly loved one go hungry. However, it is essential to know the reason behind the diminishing desire to eat in order to find an effective solution.

 

Why elders fail to eat properly:

  • Diseases – The elderly are sure to be plagued with a host of chronic diseases as they advance in age. They remain wary of certain food items therefore especially when their doctor warns of dire consequences. It is definitely the onus of a senior care professional to make the best out of the situation and serve the patient with the right food without compromising their nutrition.
  • Dental Issues – The permanent teeth are lost one by one as is natural with aging. However, you cannot be on a liquid diet permanently. Sadly, meat, crunchy fruits, and other hard foods will need to be avoided gradually until they disappear from the plate altogether. Preparing nutritive meals for the senior patients is indeed a challenge that most professionals providing home care assistance needs to be aware of.
  • Medication – Most aged patients including your parent has to consume several medicines during the course of the day. It often affects their appetite adversely. The symptoms of dry mouth and drinking an excess amount of water can also be an appetite killer.
  • Improper Nutrition – Do not shun the need for a balanced diet when your parent is elderly and shows no interest in eating. Ask the assisted living facility to include vitamin B, calcium and proteins in his daily meals so that the nutritional needs are met in spite of advanced age and health conditions.
  • Expense – Money is always a cause of trouble! Your aged parent medical bills and special dietary requirements can be expensive. Choosing to buy cheaper food products, on the other hand, may end in compromising the health for good. It might help to take him out to a Farmer’s Market every week if possible and allow him to choose fresh food at a cheaper rate.
  • Ability – Shopping and cooking are chores that seem to be problematic once the concerned individual begins to feel his age. This makes it necessary for the primary caregiver to take over and serve him well-cooked meals that meet his approval and are also in line with their dietary requirements.

 

Ideal Solutions

 

Adding more pills or dietary supplements to the meal does not usually solve the problem. It is important for a caregiver to consider the needs of the patient carefully and help them stay nourished. Snacking can definitely be a great way to ensure nutrition. However, you need to avoid the ones that are too hard or contain an excess amount of salt and sugar.

 

Here is how you can help him to remain interested in his food and have his nutritional needs met at the same time.

 

  • Serve him lean proteins such as chicken in the form of a deli sandwich or a boiled egg to help him keep full, if he had missed his meal.
     
  • Handing him a cracker topped with peanut butter or cottage cheese can have him asking for more too.
     
  • Allow him to consume fresh fruits in the form of a salad or hand him an imaginatively created fruit cup with the fruit being stewed in its own juice.
     
  • A bowl of cereals and skimmed milk and a cup of yogurt are sure to make him feel full and satiated.

 

It might please him greatly to see you bring a few of his favorite snacks whenever you find the time to visit him at his home or in a facility.

 

Do insist on providing him with tasty alternatives if he seems to be off food for some time. It is definitely going to make a difference once you ask the caregiver to keep him hydrated at all times.

 

Contact Comfort Keepers at 610-543-6300, if you are struggling with finding the right alternative that is wholesome for your elderly loved one. We are here to help you!

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