Fairfax Caregivers Should Lookout for Ten Senior Mealtime Challenges

August 22, 2011

“It’s hot outside and nothing sounds exciting for lunch!”

“I don’t want to heat up the kitchen by turning on the stove.”

Seniors Face Many Mealtime Challenges.

The summer heat may be a challenge for today’s appetite, but research conducted for the Home Instead Senior Care network reveals there are ten mealtime challenges facing our senior’s eating habits every day.  Please check this list to determine if your senior loved one may be facing an obstacle to eating healthy.

  1. Lack of companionship during mealtimes. – If you can’t be there to dine with a loved one regularly, look for alternative options such as friends and neighbors.
  2. Cooking for one. – Freeze most any type of leftover including sliced and seeded fruit by placing it in plastic containers or freezer bags.  Buy your senior healthier, low-sodium dinners for one.
  3. Eating nutritious meals. – Buy fresh, when possible, or frozen foods including fruits and vegetables.  Frequent farmer’s markets when in season.  Your loved one may enjoy a morning visit to the market.
  4. Grocery shopping for one. Transportation can be a big issue for seniors.  Contact the Fairfax Area Agency on Aging for transportation ideas, or encourage your senior to look to neighborhood support systems when possible.
  5. Eating three meals a day. – So many seniors are on prescription medications that must be taken with or without food.  Coordinate the food plan with the medication plan.
  6. High expense of cooking for one. – Encourage shared meals when possible – your loved one will receive the benefit of reduced costs of meals as well as companionship.  Check out the home-delivered meal program, “Meals on Wheels.”
  7. Relying too much on convenience food. – Encourage your older adult to meet with a nutritionist or talk with the doctor to learn how to read labels.
  8. Loss of appetite. – Help older adults make mealtimes an event, which can make dining more appealing.  Pull out a favorite recipe, help that older adult prepare a meal, get out the good dishes and decorate the table with real or artificial flowers.
  9. Eating too much food. – Or, eating too much of the wrong types of foods.  A structured shopping list may help encourage healthier choices.
  10. Eating too little food. – Maybe a trip to a favorite restaurant will encourage enjoyment of a favorite dish.  Or, checking with a health care professional to learn about supplemental products designed for the elderly.

If you would like additional resources on healthy eating for seniors, please visit www.caregiverstress.com to learn more about “Craving Companionship,” a program designed to assist seniors and their families with nutrition challenges.

Do you have a suggestion on helping others overcome the challenges of senior nutrition issues?  Please share with our readers below or on our Caregiver Forum.

Jason Sager, Owner Home Instead Senior Care Fairfax, Virginia

We hope this was helpful. If you have any questions or if you know of a senior who could benefit from our vast array of home care services in the Fairfax area , please call us at 703.750.6644, or email us. We accept most long term care insurance as payment and have a full time staff of trained and certified home care personnel covering the Fairfax County, Virginia area.

Alisa Meredith, Writer

Guest writer Alisa Meredith is a blogger and social media professional with Scalable Social Media. Every once in a while, someone at Home Instead does something that compels her to stop Tweeting and write something real! This is one of those times.

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