Seniors are often encouraged to change their eating habits to promote better health. While your aging loved one may know a healthy diet is critical for his or her wellbeing, he or she may encounter challenges that interfere with the ability to eat well. Being aware of the common reasons seniors don’t eat healthy can help you address your loved one’s unique challenges.
They Lack the Energy to Cook
Fatigue in the senior years may be caused by an illness, a medication side effect, or a emotional health condition such as insomnia or depression. When your loved one is tired, he or she may find it easier to heat up a microwave dinner or open up a bag of snacks. If you suspect your loved one is too tired to cook, help him or her prepare healthy meals to stash in the freezer, or prep the ingredients for the upcoming weeks’ meals on the weekend.
Preparing nutritious meals for a senior loved one and encouraging him or her to make healthy lifestyle choices can be challenging at times. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Sacramento, CA, 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.
They Find Healthy Food Boring
The sense of taste decreases with age, and seniors often view healthy diets as boring. However, eating well does not mean being forced to eat bland foods. Encourage your loved one to experiment with fresh herbs, exotic spices, and colorful vegetables to create meals that stimulate the senses. For example, a vegetable curry looks delightful and is full of tantalizing flavors.
Older adults who need help preparing delicious meals or making healthy lifestyle choices can benefit from professional in-home care. A caregiver can help your elderly loved one manage his or her health in a variety of ways. If your loved one needs encouragement to exercise more often, eat healthier foods, or socialize on a regular basis, an in-home caregiver from Home Care Assistance Sacramento can address these and many other health-related concerns.
They Are Lonely During Mealtimes
After years of sharing meals with a family or a spouse, your loved one may feel lonely when sitting down to eat. For this reason, he or she might skip meals or grab a snack to eat on the couch rather than face a dinner table alone. Help your loved one make plans to eat at least one meal a day with someone else. Then, create a list of people such as a professional caregiver or friends from the senior center that your loved one can call to plan lunch and dinner dates.
They Don’t Have Enough Ingredients
Healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables tend to expire faster than processed ingredients. For a senior who can no longer drive or who worries about budgeting, unhealthy food may be easier to procure. Make sure your loved one is able to purchase the food he or she needs to make healthy meals each week. If necessary, arrange for transportation services or a grocery shopping companion to restock your loved one’s kitchen each week.
They Experience Physical Challenges
The process of cooking or eating may be difficult for seniors with certain health issues. For instance, your loved one may find it challenging to cut up vegetables if he or she has weak hands or wrists. Observe how your loved one cooks and eats to identify his or her specific challenges, then address each one. Often, visiting the dentist to refit dentures or receiving assistance with meal prep is all it takes to get seniors interested in eating healthier.
If your aging loved one requires assistance with cooking and you want to make his or her dining experience enjoyable, consider hiring a caregiver. Sacramento elder care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently. To create a customized care plan for your loved one, call Home Care Assistance at (916) 706-0169 today.