Remember family dinners at Grandma’s house? The tantalizing scents wafting through the kitchen would draw everyone in to assemble at the table to enjoy her home cooking. There was always an abundance of leftovers for future meals or late-night snacks.
However, for many older adults, these kinds of family meals are few and far between. A well-balanced diet for the elderly is critical, but the day-to-day reality might be challenging due to a number of obstacles to good nutrition, including:
- Not wanting to bother with planning and preparing a nutritious meal for just one or two people
- Health concerns that make it challenging to tend to the tasks of grocery shopping and cooking
- Medication side effects that impact appetite or how food tastes
- Lack of smell and/or taste
Overcoming the Hurdles to Good Senior Nutrition
For older adults facing the challenges above, or any others, these suggestions can help.
- If loneliness during mealtime is a problem, older adults can network with friends for potluck dinners, experimenting with new recipes together, or going out for meals. Additional options include Meals On Wheels, congregate meals at senior centers, or a companion from Abby Senior Care, a local provider of top-rated elder care in Centennial, Colorado and other nearby communities.
- Grocery shopping and preparing meals can be taxing. There are a number of companies that now offer wholesome, ready-made meals delivered straight to your home. Grocery delivery service or curbside pickup can also be ideal for seniors. A caregiver from Abby Senior Care is also available to pick up groceries, prepare meals, and clean up the kitchen afterwards.
- Lack of taste or smell may make foods unappetizing, but adding herbs and spices to recipes can help. Be sure to limit salt, however. Try bright-colored fruits and vegetables in a variety of textures for textural and visual appeal.
- Review medications with the prescribing physician to find out if there are alternative treatment options that won’t affect the senior’s appetite.
Simple Steps to Better Senior Nutrition
These recommendations should help ensure older adults are on the right course to a healthy diet.
- Select foods that are loaded with nutrients but lower in calories, like fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and seafood, beans, seeds, nuts, and fat-free or low-fat dairy products.
- Skip (or at least limit) the quantity of empty calorie foods, such as cookies and other baked goods, candy, chips, soda, and alcohol.
- Stay hydrated. Many older adults lose the sensation of thirst when they get older. Consequently, it’s essential to drink sufficient water during the day, whether thirsty or not.
- Physical activity can really help improve appetite. Speak with the doctor for an ideal fitness plan.
For additional helpful resources pertaining to a balanced diet for the elderly, as well as for hands-on assistance with eliminating obstacles being faced, contact Abby Senior Care at 303-699-8840 to learn more about our elder care in Centennial, CO and the surrounding communities.