There are 7 key signs to watch for to see if your aging loved one needs help taking care of their everyday activities and needs and one of the easiest to check is what they’re eating.
Getting enough nutrition is important at any age. However, 15% to 50% of the elderly suffer from malnutrition according to medical studies. A 1992 survey by Ross Laboratories shows that over 20% of seniors skip at least one meal a day. Plus, another study found that 16% of seniors eat less than 1,000 calories a day.
There are many reasons why your elderly loved ones might not be eating as they should.
- Depression from living alone can make it hard to prepare food for just one person, causing them to lose interest in eating.
- Some seniors may have physical limitations like arthritis that make it difficult to prepare food.
- Their dentures are ill-fitting and painful, so they may avoid foods that require a lot of chewing, like meats and raw vegetables.
- Some older people lose their sense of taste and smell, making foods taste bland and taking the enjoyment out of eating.
- Medication side effects can make foods taste bitter or cause a loss of appetite.
- Seniors may have no way to get to the grocery store; and they don’t know how to order food online or set up grocery deliveries.
If you find that your loved one is experiencing changes in their eating habits, it’s important to find out why, so you can take action. There are plenty of things you can do to help your loved one get the proper nutrition they need as they age.
- Help your family member prepare their grocery list and either take them to the store yourself or arrange transportation.
- Prepare several well-balanced meals that can be frozen and reheated, so your loved one still eats well without having to cook.
- Talk with neighbors or friends to see if they can prepare and take food to your elderly family member.
- Schedule a companion to sit or eat with your loved one, so they don’t have to eat alone.
- Set up a home delivery system like Meals on Wheels to bring food to your family member, so all they need to do is heat and eat the meal.
- Suggest local community organizations that offer meals for seniors, so they can eat and socialize with others.
- Talk with your family member’s doctor about their medications and how they’re affecting your loved one’s appetite to see if what changes can be made.
- Help create a group cooking session to share different recipes and dishes.
If your elderly family member isn’t eating well, have a Keeping In Touch Solutions Care Caller give her a gentle reminder when she makes the daily call to your loved one.
We’re here to make sure your beloved family member feel cared for, safe and enjoys living in the home she loves, while you take care of the many things already on your to do list.
Give me a call at 317.480.1038 and let’s design a solution that helps you and them.