When seniors don’t eat adequate amounts of healthy food, they can become malnourished or dehydrated. When elderly adults are malnourished or dehydrated, their health can decline, and they may be more susceptible to illness and diseases. You must do everything you can to make sure your aging relative is eating properly. If that is a challenge for you to do, consider hiring an elder care assistant to lend a hand.
Why Is It So Hard for Elderly Adults to Eat Properly?
There are so many reasons why aging adults don’t get adequate nutrition from their meals. With age often comes physical limitations that prevent them from caring for themselves properly, including shopping for groceries and preparing well-balanced meals. Many seniors don’t drive anymore, preventing them from access to good food choices.
Some elderly adults struggle to prepare meals on their own. Still others have a diminished appetite from medications, changing taste buds, and impaired senses of smell and taste. Other factors can include lack of finances, depression, problems with chewing or swallowing, or a restrictive diet. Finally, there are many elderly adults that simply aren’t interested in healthy food and prefer fast food or highly processed food. One or more of these factors are enough to cause aging adults to have bad eating habits.
Elder Care Assistants Help Aging Adults Develop Better Eating Habits.
Because the two biggest obstacles to good eating habits in the elderly are physical challenges and mental engagement, it makes sense that hiring an elder care assistant would certainly help. When it comes to physical obstacles to good eating, an elder care aide can step in and take over when the senior is struggling. From grocery shopping to meal prep to preparing snacks and meals in advance, the elder care aide can do it all so the senior doesn’t have to. Trained and professional assistants know how to make delicious food that suits elderly adults and gives them the nutrients they need.
Another way that elder care assistants can boost an elderly adult’s eating habits is to provide them with nutritious and delicious snacks. Examples include fruit smoothies, vegetables and dip, whole grain toast, and hard-boiled eggs. Seniors are more likely to eat when meals are a social event, and they can work up an appetite going on walks or other outings with the elder care assistant. Finally, the aide can keep an eye on how much the elderly adult is eating, as well as take notes on any other food-related issues. Then, they can report back to the family member and come up with a solution.
Good nutrition is important for adults at any age, but for seniors it is critical to stay healthy and resist the illnesses and diseases that are so common in old age. If you really are worried about your aging loved one’s poor eating habits, you should consider hiring an elder care aide to help out.