Eating is very personal. It’s also often a social event, whether we eat with our family or get together with others for a celebration. We have our favorite foods. Some people prefer the way certain foods are prepared; others have rituals associated with their meals. Some people like to eat alone, in front of a television, while others want a fully set table. But tastes and the ability to enjoy food may change over time, making it harder for senior caregivers to ensure their loved ones are eating properly and getting enough nutrition to stay as healthy as possible.
Some normal aspects of aging, like chewing issues and the effects of certain medications, can make it difficult for seniors to eat. Therefore, without constantly preparing and/or supervising all your loved one’s meals and snacks, it’s often hard to know if dietary needs are being met. Answering the following questions, however, can help family members notice a lack of proper nutrition and create a better diet plan.
- Has the senior complained of loss of appetite, digestive problems, or chewing or swallowing difficulties?
- Has there been decreased food intake over the past 3 months due to these complaints?
- Has the senior experienced weight loss during the last 3 months? Weight loss, particularly in those who are not active, can be an indication that the person is not eating properly.
- Does the senior have mobility issues? Being bed bound or unable to go outside can cause nutritional challenges like inability to buy groceries or prepare meals.
- Has the senior suffered psychological stress or acute disease in the past 3 months?
- What is the senior’s body mass index (BMI)? A BMI of 18.5 or less may be a sign that the person is not eating enough, while a BMI of 30 or more can indicate obesity.
As a senior caregiver, if you are concerned that your loved one is not getting enough to eat, contact his or her doctor to determine whether there is an underlying health issue to blame and what you can do to help create a better nutrition plan. The caregivers at Regency Home Care can also help! From grocery shopping to preparing meals to eating with the senior, Regency caregivers can help you by alleviating some of the eating issues common among older adults. They can also help monitor nutritional intake.
Our caregivers and home health aides are specially trained in providing personal care, including management of some of the eating issues common among older adults. From grocery shopping and preparing meals to eating with the senior to keep him or her company, our caregivers can also help monitor nutritional intake, to help ease your mind.
Contact us today to see how Regency Home Care of North Atlanta, can help you. Our free initial assessment will help you determine the level of service you need, with each plan of care individually designed, updated and supervised by a registered nurse.