When you care for an aging loved one, we understand that you want them to have the best care possible. This is especially true with meal preparation since whatever is consumed may affect their nourishment, energy, and overall health. Food is extremely important, especially for older individuals due to the fact that they might not be able to consume hard foods or they may have a custom diet routine to follow. If you are a caregiver, then you might already know how challenging it can be to maintain sufficient nutrition in every meal for a family member or client. While it can be stressful, acquiring the right information and taking the time to plan out meals will help make it easy.
Coastal Home Care offers personalized and trustworthy adult home care services to families and elders throughout Wicomico County, MD. Like every family, each patient is different, with a variety of needs and preferences that make up their daily routine. Our patented Plan of Care assessments, completed by our highly-trained nurses, ensures that all areas of care are met precisely for each individual. Here are some tips to consider for your elderly parent’s meals:
Consider Their Needs
Elderly individuals may have dietary restrictions so it is important to keep this in mind when preparing meals. For example, if they have a difficult time chewing hard foods, it might be beneficial to find a protein supplement so they can still get the nutrition they need. You do not want to choose food that might aggravate their condition further.
Make Food They Want
When you make meals your elder doesn’t want, then they may resist or choose not to eat at all. They might even skip their entire meals and snacks, so make sure to be considerate of their preferences when you are prepping or preparing meals to ensure they will actually enjoy them.
You can choose to add flavor without adding unnecessary calories or sodium. A person on average already consumes too many unhealthy calories that include excessive amounts of sodium and sugars. When choosing what to buy or prepare for your elderly loved one, make sure that you are offering them reduced or low sodium meals. You can still add flavors by including herbs and spices. There are also other substitutes for sugar as well. Stevia is the most beneficial form of sugar out there on the market right now. It’s made from a plant and is natural so you know you are giving your elders a healthier alternative.
Check To See If They Can Consume Meat
It is typical that when we age our gums and teeth are not as sturdy as they once were. Thus, it is important to consider whether giving them meat will be beneficial or not. Consider giving them smaller pieces of meat or blending the meat with other ingredients to make sure they are getting the protein they need. If not this option, then you might want to consider other protein-based foods like quinoa, which can be cooked on its own or you can find quinoa pasta, chips, or bread.
If your parents love food like a baked potato and sour cream, it’s possible to add healthier alternatives. Instead of sour cream, you can add greek yogurt so that the calories are reduced. If they like french fries or chips, you can substitute regular potatoes with sweet potatoes or give them popcorn instead. For milk chocolate, you can substitute it for 90% dark chocolate, and frozen yogurt can be replaced for ice cream. This way, they can still enjoy their meals and won’t have to worry if they are eating healthily enough.
Make it Nutritious
Remember that as you take care of your mental and physical health, you should do the same for your elderly loved one. Nutrients are an essential part of any meal, but especially for older individuals. Make sure that they have enough Folic Acid, B-12, Vitamin C, and Vitamin D. Of course, you should speak to your loved one’s doctor first to make sure that none of the supplements interfere with their medications, as there are supplements that help with energy or weight loss. It is also a good idea to give them milk for calcium, lots of vegetables, and fruit.
Dependable Adult Home Care Services in Wicomico County, Maryland
There are many caregiving alternatives you can find for your elderly loved one, however, none can match the singular attentiveness and assurance of comfort that adult in-home care services guarantee. At Coastal Home Care, our primary focus is to provide our elders with trained, experienced nurses that desire to help maintain every elder’s independent lifestyle, while also ensuring they remain healthy and safe within their routines.
Contact us at 866-687-7307 to find an excellent caregiver and companion for your loved one today.