For older adults healthy eating can sometimes pose a challenge. Especially when trying to eat crunchy things like raw vegetables. It’s good to have some strategies in mind to address some of the common issues that elder adults face when it comes to nutrition.
Problem: Chewing difficulties. This could make it hard to eat raw fruits and vegetables and certain cuts of meat.
Solution: try some alternatives like the following:
- Instead of raw fruit and vegetables – use fruit juices, soft fruit from a can, cooked and mashed vegetables, fruit and vegetable blends in juice or applesauce.
- Instead of chewy meat – use hamburger, eggs, cheese, canned meat like tuna, ground chicken, sliced cold cuts. Just don’t use processed meats too often because of the salt content.
- Instead of bread and buns – try soft cooked grains like oatmeal, rice, bread pudding, and pancakes. (bread and buns can be quite chewy)
Problem: Difficulty doing errands like grocery shopping.
Solution: If it’s difficult to drive or she can’t stand long enough to go down the aisles to get the food, assign a family member to do her shopping for her or hire an elderly care provider. Some stores will deliver to your home, as long as there’s someone there to receive the food.
Problem: Can’t do the cooking for herself
Solution: You could try one or a combination of the following:
- Make up some meals ahead of time to put in her freezer so all she has to do is warm them up
- Have some family members take turns going over to help her get meals
- Hire an elder care provider to come in and help her with all her daily tasks, such as shopping, meal preparation and cooking, cleaning up, etc.
- Find out about getting some home delivered meals for seniors. The cost is quite affordable.
Problem: Loss of appetite
Solution: Sometimes older people lose their appetite due to loneliness. Arrange to have someone eat some meals with them. A caregiver would also be very useful to ward off loneliness. Family members and friends could take turns going over to eat with your loved one.
You can also increase food flavor by changing up the spices and adding something new. If your loved one has a hard time doing menu planning, look through colorful pictures together online and choose some new recipes she can try.
If you really put your mind to it, almost any problem can be solved. You can also get advice from your loved one’s doctor if there are eating problems you just can’t seem to fix. The doctor can also refer you to a dietician who would have lots of great ideas.
If you have an aging loved one who needs professional elderly care, or are considering home care services for yourself call Harmony Home Health and talk to our care staff. They will be attentive to your situation, and provide clear and immediate options to help you deal with the difficulties you face. Harmony Home Health provides services for the greater Sacramento, Placer, and El Dorado Counties including: Sacramento, El Dorado Hills, Folsom, Granite Bay, Roseville, Cameron Park, Placerville and surrounding areas. For more information and a FREE assessment CALL (916) 414-9100.