Preparing a meal for a senior is not always an easy task; particularly if they do not have much of an appetite or tend to always prefer eating the same things. Variety is the spice of life, and this is especially true with regards to a senior’s diet. As we get older, we tend to fall into a certain pattern of eating, but it’s imperative that the senior in your life does not just live on ham sandwiches every day!
In order to benefit from senior home care services, it’s recommended that you consider the following tips about meal preparation for seniors:
Seniors and Nutrition
Eating a balanced diet is important for any age group, but is it arguably even more so for the elderly. Too often we see the seniors around us become apathetic about taking care of themselves as they age and their health declines, when in reality this is the very time we should be making the most effort.
Moreover, the elderly are vulnerable to a range of mental and physical illnesses, and there are simple dietary adjustments that can help prevent these things. Worse case scenario, if the senior in your life already has a serious or chronic illness, food can actually lessen its effects. For all of these reasons, it’s essential to ensure your loved one prioritizes their nutrition.
Here are some of the key nutrients that a senior should consume in their daily meals:
Calcium is the key to keeping bones, muscles, and ligaments strong and healthy. The elderly are prone to bone diseases such as osteoporosis, which are actually the result of a prolonged calcium deficiency. When we are growing calcium is essential to help our bones grow and develop properly. Then, as we get older, our bones naturally start to lose density. Calcium helps to keep this density at a healthy level, so the importance of it cannot be underestimated.
A healthy intestine is the key to good overall health. This is because if the body cannot get rid of waste of effectively it will sit inside the intestine and cause negative effects such as nausea and stomach cramping. Moreover, intestinal disorders can lead to other more serious ailments including ulcers, incontinence, and even stomach cancer.
As a result, fiber should be at the forefront of a senior’s diet. Fiber is easy to incorporate into a healthy eating plan because there are a wide variety of fiber rich foods: brown bread, fruits, leafy vegetables, cereals, and starches. If your loved one isn’t a fruit or vegetable lover, they can still opt for a healthy bowl of wholegrain cereal topped with chopped nuts and honey in the mornings.
While water may not be a nutrient per se, it is so important that it needs to be mentioned. It is a common bad habit that people do not drink enough water daily, or think that any fluid compensates for their low water intake. For example, someone who drinks five cups of coffee may assume that just because they make their coffee with water it’s the same as drinking five cups of water. This isn’t true, as the coffee contains ingredients which actually dehydrate you and make you need to use the restroom more often. Thus, it’s like eating a strawberry flavored product and trying to get all of the nutrition a strawberry provides.
Make sure you try to encourage the senior in your life to drink their daily intake of water because it’s an essential component of a healthy diet. Water energizes our entire body by oxygenating cells and flushing out toxins. A body that is well-watered will run more effectively, and a dehydrated body will be lethargic and have declined functionality overall.
Meal Preparation Services
Here at Caring Hands Matter, we pride ourselves on providing the very best in home healthcare. We strongly believe that care involves a lot more than simply helping out with the activities of daily living or instrumental activities of daily living. Because meal preparation falls into the instrumental category, we take it very seriously. Regular ADLs are the essential things that are needed for survival, while instrumental ones are those things which improve a person’s quality of life, like keeping your house tidy or making an important phone call.
Because of this, our meal preparation services will provide healthy and tasty meals for the senior in your life. Nutrition is key, but so is enjoyment. It’s the little things that really contribute to a senior’s contentment, and it’s our attention to the finer details that really make the difference.