Making sure your loved one gets proper nutrition is one of your important responsibilities as a family caregiver. However, due to age-related changes, getting proper nutrition can be a challenge in the senior years. Be alert for these risk factors for malnutrition so you can take action to help your loved one eat well.
1. Isolation at Mealtimes
Seniors sometimes skip meals simply because they do not want to face sitting at the table alone. Stay on guard regarding this risk factor if your loved one has recently lost a spouse or is experiencing depression. Having another caregiver stop by ensures your loved one will have a friendly face available to converse with while eating.
If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of Temple home care. Services our caregivers provide include transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping.
2. Decreased Sense of Taste
Dietary restrictions are common during the senior years, and not being able to eat favorite foods combined with loss of taste can make meals boring. Show your loved one how to cook using fresh herbs and spices that are healthier than salt and sugar. You can also increase the appeal of meals by using colorful ingredients.
3. Tight Budget
A bare pantry or refrigerator is a sign your loved one might be having difficulty affording groceries. You may also find your loved one hanging on to food well after the expiration date. Help your loved one find ways to fit buying food into the budget, which could include using coupons, sharing a meal with a friend, or finding out about senior meal programs in the community that can help him or her eat regularly.
4. Limited Mobility
Limited mobility can make it difficult for a senior to do things such as stand long enough to cook or chop up ingredients. If your loved one has arthritis or another health condition, consider hiring a caregiver who can help prepare meals. Combine this with special utensils designed for helping seniors get a better grip on the handle, and you can watch your loved one regain confidence about eating.
Certain age-related conditions can make it more challenging for seniors to age in place safely and comfortably, but Temple live-in care experts are available around the clock to help seniors manage their health. Whether your loved one is living with dementia or is recovering from a stroke, you can trust in professional live-in caregivers to enhance his or her quality of life.
5. Poor Oral Health
Dental conditions can interfere with the ability to chew food properly. A senior who is experiencing pain from mouth sores or serious decay may also skip meals or only eat soft foods. Arrange for your loved one to see the dentist regularly to ensure minor oral health issues do not worsen. For instance, your loved one may need to have his or her dentures relined if they are rubbing on the gums, or he or she may need a tooth or cavity filling.
If your senior loved one is not getting the essential nutrients he or she needs for a healthy lifestyle, consider hiring a respite caregiver. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Temple, TX, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity. For reliable in-home care services, contact us at 254-856-0600.