Meal Preparation and Diet Planning – In-Home Care Elmhurst
As people age, their nutritional needs change – as do their tastes and personal habits. Additionally, it can be difficult for some people to smell or taste their food as they get older. Combine these facts with the difficulty some seniors have in preparing their meals – or loss of desire to cook without someone to cook for – and it can become a genuine health concern.
Nutritional Needs of Seniors
While it may be difficult to ensure your loved one receives the nutrition they need unless you are right there to follow up, it is possible. Ample nutrition is an important, and sometimes overlooked, aspect of senior health. Because elderly people’s needs are slightly different from those of middle aged or young people, there is an increased need for certain nutrients.
For instance, seniors are more likely to suffer from B12 deficiency than younger adults, and they require a higher intake of calcium and Vitamin D to preserve bone health.
Conversely, developing or worsening health conditions may necessitate specific dietary restrictions. The progression of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, congestive heart failure, and other conditions can be directly affected by dietary choices.
Another aspect of senior nutrition is the danger of malnutrition and dehydration. The truth is, many seniors who live alone become malnourished simply because they don’t feel like cooking, forget to eat, or have physical limitations which makes it difficult for them to prepare a healthy meal. Seniors also become dehydrated, as they often don’t remember to drink enough water or other liquids throughout the day. This can lead to worsening dementia and confusion, constipation, and kidney failure.
How We Can Help
When you reach out to our compassionate team at Home & Hearth Caregivers for elderly home assistance in Elmhurst, you will find our staff prepared to help with many tasks. For seniors who require assistance with planning and/or preparing their meals, reaching out to us may be the perfect solution.
No matter what type of specific food concerns you or your loved ones may have, we can assist. Does your mom have her own favorite recipes and just needs a bit of help lifting pans in and out of the oven or getting things off of high shelves? Perhaps your dad lives alone and has never quite gotten the hang of cooking anything (as he asks you seriously why he can’t live on beer and corn flakes).
No matter how minimal or how extensive your loved one’s needs, we can provide home senior care assistance at any level.
It can be difficult for seniors to transition from cooking for a family, and then maybe themselves and their significant other, to just cooking for one. Being alone can be extremely difficult for anyone that has not lived by themselves for most of their lives.
This can be especially difficult to deal with at mealtime. So it’s often easier to grab a snack, or many snacks, and never really fix a healthy meal. Changes in the ability to taste and smell also make food preparation less appealing – which can quickly spiral into a bad situation.
Sometimes an older person really does enjoy cooking and eating, they may be health focused, they may be cuisine focused, yet they may find themselves facing physical limitations. This can eventually lead to the same problem other seniors face – lack of proper nutrition.
When you reach out to us, we will not only help with meal preparation, but the mere fact that someone is there to talk to, cook with, and perhaps share a recipe with, can make an enormous difference( in your loved one’s interest in eating. This can translate into improved appetite and a healthier diet.
Throughout our lives, we learn to pre-plan our meals and shop for a week or so at a time. However, if someone is used to doing this for a large family, or they used to go grocery shopping as a couple – planning as they perused the aisles, meal planning for one may make them sad. That being said, it can be difficult for an elderly person to get out to shop – so if they feel like making dinner, but find themselves missing key ingredients, they may settle for a PB&J sandwich or a bag of chips instead.
Our home care assistants in Elmhurst, IL, as well as our other service areas, can help determine your loved one’s tastes and nutritional needs, assist in planning healthy meals, and even grocery shop for the items if necessary. Our services provide limitless options – offering as little or as much help as needed.
Subtle Benefits of Home Care Assistance
While you may be concerned about your mom, dad, or grandma eating a well-balanced and healthy diet, there can be additional benefits to hiring a home care assistant to help with meal planning and preparation. Seniors often forget to eat or drink regularly because of depression and loneliness. When someone is there, even if it is just to place the casserole into the oven, it can make all the difference in the world.
This video explains how nutrition and healthy aging are interconnected, and why it is so important for seniors to eat right to help control and manage chronic illness. If you, or someone you care about, could use a helping hand when it comes to meal planning and preparation, reach out to our friendly and experienced caregivers from Home & Hearth. We invite you to give us a call today.