Nutrition

Has your senior been losing weight?  Are you concerned that they aren’t eating properly?

Perhaps your senior always liked to cook.  But when living alone, it can sometimes seem like a lot of time and energy to cook for just one or two.  If you like to cook as well and are able to, maybe you and your senior can cook meals together and then package them in individual servings for the freezer.  If this isn’t a possibility for you, there are plenty of other options. You might be able to make extra when you cook for your family and package an extra meal for your senior with the reheating instructions on it.

I love what my Mom did for my Grandmother.  She would package leftovers from our family meals—carefully marking, dating, and freezing them.  Then, the next time we went over to visit, my Mom would take the leftovers and put them in her mother’s freezer so my Grandmother had a variety of homemade meals that she could easy thaw and reheat.

You can look into picking up take-out meals from a local restaurant. And another option is to have a personal chef come to your seniors’ home periodically to cook meals for the upcoming weeks and freeze them so your senior has fresh, homemade meals.  Some personal chefs will even use your seniors’ own recipes.

Look for a personal certified chef (CPC) in your area.

Maybe your senior has even tried Meals on Wheels.  It is a great service to seniors, but it doesn’t work for everyone.  Sometimes there are simple solutions if you listen very closely to your senior’s comments.  One woman who was having Meals on Wheels delivered to her senior realized that he wasn’t eating the meals.  It turns out that the food didn’t look good to him. She found that when she transferred the meals onto his plates, they were suddenly fine.  A happy solution, however it took a while to figure it out!

Sometimes there may be physical issues like a stroke or arthritis affecting your seniors’ hand control.  Special eating utensils are available that may help your senior.

Visit our directory for a variety of eating aid options at Maddak, a company specializing in home health care and rehabilitation products.

A food diary can also be helpful. Sometimes seniors don’t realize what they are or aren’t eating each day, and recording their eating habits can help both them and you to be sure they have a balanced diet.

The CDC has a food diary you can access online.

For general health tips, visit the US Dept. of Health & Human Services List of  Health Tips for Older Adults.