Food is a cornerstone of health, but that doesn’t mean that your senior is excited about changing her diet. Talk to your elderly family member and to her doctor about what foods she’s eating and what she should be eating in order to be as healthy as possible. Those guidelines factor into what you do next.
Hydration During the Day Helps a Lot
Drinking plenty of water throughout the day helps your elderly family member’s body to operate the way that it should. If you’re having a tough time helping her to eat well, she may also be dehydrated. Find ways to increase her hydration throughout the day, even if that means swapping out some of her mealtime beverages for plain water for a bit.
Start Meal Planning, if You Don’t Already
Meal planning sounds a lot more complicated than it is. What you’re really doing is looking at either a week or two of meals and sorting out what dishes and foods could be served during those times. This helps you to shop according to what’s freshest at the store when you start meal planning with circulars in hand and it can also help you to spot areas in which your senior’s diet is lacking. If she’s eating the same foods all the time, it becomes obvious quickly.
Shake Things Up
Sometimes variety is what your senior’s diet is lacking. There’s something to be said for those favorite foods that are comfortable and tasty, but they may be lacking some nutritional elements for your elderly family member. Try finding one or two new healthy recipes each week to try out. If you’re not able to cook for your senior, consider bringing in home care providers. They can handle the cooking and also help your senior with related tasks.
Try to Make Meals Fun and Engaging
When meals are boring or lonely, that makes eating a drag. Your elderly family member might not even notice that she’s associating food with emotions in that way. Do what you can to figure out a way to make meals more fun. That could mean scheduling a few more family dinners each week or trying out other options, like video calls during meals, when you can’t be there with her.
There’s a lot to consider when it comes to making sure your senior is eating well. The actual food is only one part of the entire picture.