Remember family dinners at Grandma’s house? The tantalizing scents wafting from the kitchen would draw everyone in to gather at the table to enjoy her home cooking. There were always plenty of leftovers for future meals or late-night snacks.
Yet for many seniors, these types of family meals are infrequent. Older adult nutrition can be challenging for a number of reasons, including:
- Not wanting to bother with preparing a nutritious meal for just one or two people
- Health conditions making it difficult to tend to the tasks of grocery shopping and cooking
- Medication side effects that impact appetite or how food tastes
- Decreased smell and/or taste
Overcoming the Hurdles to Good Senior Nutrition
For older adults facing the challenges above, or any others, these recommendations will help.
- If loneliness during mealtime is an issue, older adults can network with friends for potluck dinners, experimenting with new recipes together, or going out for meals. Additional options include Meals On Wheels, congregate meals at senior centers, or a companion from Morning Glory Home Care, the experts in home care and memory care in Granite City, IL and nearby areas.
- Grocery shopping and preparing meals can be challenging. There are a number of companies that now offer healthy and balanced, ready-made meals delivered straight to your door. Grocery delivery service or curbside pickup are also ideal for older adults. A caregiver from Morning Glory Home Care is also available to pick up groceries, prepare meals, and clean up the kitchen afterwards.
- Loss of taste or smell can make foods unappealing, but adding herbs and spices to recipes can certainly help. Be sure to limit salt, however. Try bright-colored vegetables and fruits in a variety of textures for visual and textural appeal.
- Review medications with the prescribing physician to determine if there are other treatment options that will not affect the senior’s appetite.
Easy Steps to Better Older Adult Nutrition
These guidelines may help ensure older adults are on the right track to a healthy diet.
- Select foods that are loaded with nutrients but lower in calories, such as vegetables and fruits, whole grains, lean meats and seafood, beans, seeds, nuts, and fat-free or low-fat dairy products.
- Skip (or at least limit) the amount of empty calorie foods, including cookies and other baked goods, chips, candy, soda, and alcohol.
- Stay hydrated. Many seniors lose the feeling of thirst when they get older, so it’s important to drink plenty of water daily, whether thirsty or not.
- Physical activity can really help improve appetite. Seek the advice of the physician for an ideal exercise program.
To obtain more helpful resources pertaining to enhancing senior nutrition, as well as for hands-on help with overcoming the obstacles being faced, contact Morning Glory Home Care, providers of award-winning home care and memory care in Granite City, IL and nearby areas, at 618-667-8400.