Senior Nutrition: Overcoming Obstacles to a Healthy Diet

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A healthy diet is important for aging adults, who must receive the proper nutrition they need to maintain their physical health. Yet it’s common for older adults to lose interest in food as they experience changes in their bodies that can interfere with their enjoyment of meals. As a family caregiver, it’s important to understand the most common obstacles to a healthy diet along with these tips for ensuring your senior loved one gets the nutrition he or she needs to stay healthy. 

 

Loss of Appetite

There are many reasons seniors may lose interest in eating, and it’s important to try to understand the underlying cause of your loved one’s loss of appetite. Sometimes a new medication could be the culprit. Ask your parent if he or she has experienced nausea or a change in the way food tastes so these symptoms can be mentioned to his or her physician. It’s also important to note that a desire to eat less could be due to the normal slowing of metabolism with age. If this is the case, make sure each meal is packed with nutrition. 

If your loved one’s lack of appetite has come on suddenly, it’s worth scheduling a checkup to find out if there’s a physical cause. For instance, your loved one may be experiencing pain from ill-fitting dentures or have a gastrointestinal disorder that causes him or her to feel fuller. 

If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of home care Fort Lauderdale families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

 

Lack of Companionship

Seniors who live alone are at greater risk for nutritional deficiencies if they lack the motivation to prepare healthy meals. Fortunately, this obstacle is easy to overcome by simply arranging for a companion to visit during mealtimes. Not only will this provide an opportunity to socialize, but seniors who eat with companions also tend to eat more and make healthier dietary choices. Between visits, talk to your loved one about the meals he or she has prepared, and share an interest regarding the impact of nutrition on his or her health.

For families living in Fort Lauderdale, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Assisting Hands Home Care, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home.

 

Difficulties with Meal Planning

There are many factors that go into meal planning that can make it challenging to stick to a healthy diet. Find out if your loved one needs transportation assistance to go grocery shopping, and make the appropriate arrangements to ensure he or she has the ingredients to cook three meals a day. Seniors who are unaccustomed to eating healthy or cooking for a single adult may benefit from assistance with meal planning and preparation. By taking an active interest in your loved one’s eating habits, you can ensure he or she receives the nutrition he or she needs each day. 

A home caregiver can help your loved one plan and prepare nutritious meals. Elderly home care professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers. Assisting Hands Home Care will work with you to customize a care plan that’s just right for your loved one’s needs. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today to learn more about our customized care plans.