Solving Eating Challenges Aging Adults Commonly Experience

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Seniors have specific nutritional needs that must be met to promote health, longevity, and quality of life. If you provide care for a senior loved one and have noticed a recent change in his or her weight or specific problems during mealtimes, it may be time to modify your loved one’s meal plan and what you’re serving. Here are some of the common eating issues that may be troubling your loved one and suggestions for how to resolve them. 

Physical Changes

With age, it can become difficult to chew and swallow as the muscles in the jaw and throat weaken. Poor oral health can also make it harder, and even painful, to eat. Cut foods into smaller portions to facilitate swallowing, and opt for soups and stews that are easy to eat and digest.

A home caregiver can help your loved one plan and prepare nutritious meals. Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving around-the-clock senior home care. Columbus, OH, Assisting Hands Home Care are leaders in the senior in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.

Decrease in Appetite

Varying metabolic levels can leave a senior with little to no appetite. While your loved one may not like his or her favorite meal any longer, studies show that most people continue to enjoy the foods they grew up eating. Try to prepare comfort foods your loved one ate frequently as a child to help him or her overcome a lack of appetite.

Sugar Cravings 

In some cases, a senior may overindulge in sugary foods and drinks, often as the result of a change in taste buds. Studies show that while seniors may not be able to identify certain food properties, such as salt content, many continue to crave sweet foods. Trade out your loved one’s sugary favorites for foods that are naturally sweet, such as yams, fresh fruits, or bell peppers, to promote a healthy diet.

If regularly preparing nutritious meals is challenging for you, a professional caregiver can be a wonderful resource. At-home care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Assisting Hands Home Care are available to help your aging loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Bland Meals

Changes in taste buds can make all meals taste bland or similar. Try to enhance the flavor in your loved one’s meals by using spices such as cinnamon, basil, oregano, and cilantro. Adding citrus, such as lemon, can also add extra flavor to a bland dish.

Health Issues

Conditions such as Parkinson’s, stroke, dementia, and Alzheimer’s can make it difficult for seniors to use utensils, swallow, or sit at the table for long periods. Along with eliminating as many outside distractions as possible, consider portable meals. For instance, cut foods into smaller bites that don’t have to be eaten at the dinner table, and opt for smoothies packed with healthy fruits and vegetables to ensure nutritional needs are met.

In Columbus, home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Assisting Hands Home Care, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. Our caregivers encourage seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. Reach out to us at Assisting Hands Home Care if you need compassionate professional care for your loved one. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at 614-678-5887.