by merretmann Resource: www.caregivers.com
It is true we all need protein, fruit, veggies, calcium, grains and a lot of water in our diet to live healthy vibrant lives! Maybe you have heard that senior nutrition becomes a little more complex? As we age, our concentration on nutrient dense meals should be paramount. But what if the very act of getting the food to one’s mouth and swallowing has become an issue? For many, what we think of as a simple act becomes a complicated situation. I have talked to many caregivers who become frustrated in trying to assist those they love to ingest the calories that will sustain them.
Several tips on supporting senior nutrition for those that are challenged:
- Try using a straw for liquids.
- Try finger foods – sandwiches, cut vegetables, and fruits.
- Try softer foods – it is possible that chewing is difficult.
- Try adding more flavor – sugar or honey when appropriate; often the sense of taste is diminished.
- Stick to foods your care recipient enjoys.
- Try a nutritional supplement shake – mix it with some ice cream to improve the flavor if your care recipient doesn’t seem to enjoy it plain.
- Try switching to smaller, more frequent meals; sometimes a big meal can be too overwhelming or too exhausting.
- Decrease distractions at meal time such as TV, radio, too much activity.
- Try serving soup in a cup rather than a bowl so the care recipient can drink as opposed to having to steady a spoon full of liquid soup.
- Use an apron instead of a bib – it is more dignified
- Try adaptive eating utensils
- Give your care recipient a small, manageable task to do to help.
- Use a bright colored plate so the food stands out.
- Turn the plate when they have eaten all the food from one side of the plate.
- Make it a social event – eat together. Enjoy!
Senior Nutrition or Malnutrition?
Malnutrition is a senior health issue that can lead to critical consequences. To name a few:
- Immune deficiency and increased possibility of disease
- Heart problems
- Skin issues
- Decline in current medical condition
I hope this information helps you to look further into your loved ones eating habits and make adjustments to set them up for success! Maybe you have had personal experience in this realm? I would love to hear about your situation, ways you have founds solutions and to what benefit..?