You can’t always be there. But we can.
A big goal for many family caregivers is to help their elderly adults to eat healthier on a daily basis. Depending on how well your senior is eating now, this might mean revamping quite a few of her eating habits.
Work with Her to Set up a Menu for the Week
Starting with a menu is vital because it gives you and your elderly family member a framework for the week’s meals. You and she can see at a glance what’s around that she can grab for a meal and it eliminates a lot of guesswork. Try posting the menu right on the fridge so that everyone can see it.
Include Snacks, Too
One big mistake that people make when they start menu planning is that they forget to include some snacks and even some meals. Make sure that you’re including foods that your senior likes to eat in between meals that are healthy options. Also include easy breakfast and lunch ideas for when your elderly family member doesn’t want to cook.
Shop the Outer Edges of the Store First
When you do make it to the store, be sure to shop the edges of the store first. This is where the fresh produce, fresh meats, and dairy departments are typically located. You want to make the majority of the food your senior eats come from these departments as much as possible.
Get Help with Meal Preparation
Often the biggest area of difficulty can come with preparing foods and meals for your aging adult. She may not have the energy to deal with cooking like she used to and you may not be able to help as much as you want. That’s when turning to friends, family members, and even to elderly care services providers can take that task off your hands.
Keep in Mind Changes Take Time
It’s not easy to make these kinds of changes to your senior’s way of eating. It can take time for her to adjust mentally and to adjust physically as well. If she’s eating more often than she used to, it might feel weird to her at first. Stick with it, especially if your loved one is seeing results when she goes in for a checkup with her doctor.
Ask your elderly family member’s doctor about working with a nutritionist, too. This doesn’t have to be a long-term arrangement, either. Often a couple of visits can help you and your senior get a better grasp on how she should be eating to stay as healthy as possible.