If you notice that your loved one has lost a significant amount of weight, appears weaker than normal, or is just completely frail, he or she may be lacking the calories, liquids, and nutrition he or she needs. Senior aged adults will sometimes have difficulties eating and drinking regularly due to mobility issues, arthritis, challenges with swallowing, forgetfulness, or inability to drive to the grocery store. If left ignored, the lack of food and drink consumption will be detrimental to their overall health and put their lives at risk. If your loved one isn’t eating and drinking enough, here are a few things you can do:
- Weekly Meal Prep
If you live nearby, taking an hour or two a week to cook and prepare your loved ones’ meals will ensure they eat meals every day throughout the week. You can purchase a couple of pounds of ground turkey, ground chicken, or a couple of trays of tofu, depending on your parents’ preference or diet. Then sauté them in olive oil and light seasoning (Dash Seasoning), remembering to limit their sodium intake. Ground protein is preferred over whole chicken breasts, beef, pork, or bone-in poultry because these protein choices may increase choking. This is especially risky if your loved one lives alone. A side of starch such as white rice, pasta, mashed potatoes, and some steamed diced vegetables are cheap and can be easily cooked. Purchase a few sectioned plastic containers at your local supermarket or discount store. Then evenly fill several containers with the food you have prepared and store them in the refrigerator. All your loved one has to do is heat it up in their microwave or you, or an in home care provider can warm and serve it to your loved one. Don’t forget to keep several cases of bottled water on site. If that is not feasible, plan to place a couple of large water bottles filled with spring water and ice so they can stay hydrated throughout the day, especially during the warmer months. Meal prepping is a cost-friendly, organized, and efficient way to get your loved one to eat regular meals.
- Grocery Delivery
Malnutrition is a growing problem among older Americans, and many times, it is because of not being able to access groceries. As your loved ones get older, they are not as physically fit and active as they once were. But if they are not able to buy groceries, how will they take their regular meals? If your loved one lives alone and you live too far to make daily or weekly trips, then ordering grocery delivery is an ideal option. Nowadays, many of the big-name grocery stores and Amazon Prime offer grocery delivery right to the customer’s door. You can place a grocery order to be delivered to your elderly parent’s home every week. If he or she cannot cook as much, keep that in mind when ordering groceries. Stick to bread, cold cuts, sliced cheeses, fruits, cereal bars, cereal, crackers, canned soup, biscuits, canned tuna fish, water bottles, and meal replacement drinks. Many grocery stores will even deliver prepared meals such as potato salad, rotisserie chicken, and pasta salad. You can choose the day and the time frame when your loved one’s groceries should be delivered. Typically, before the initial delivery, you will receive an email of the estimated time of arrival and the delivery person’s name. Once delivered, typically, you will receive another email of the delivery with the option to tip and leave a review. Grocery delivery ensures your loved one will get fresh food every week, and you can have peace of mind that his or her fridge and pantry are full.
- Hire a Home Care Provider
If your loved one needs assistance with food preparation and requires to be watched while eating, then your best choice would be to hire an in home care provider. An in home care provider will act as a companion, caretaker, and health care professional all in one. Begin with 5 hours, three days a week, and determine if more time is needed. The caregiver will prepare foods appropriate to your parent’s health and ability to chew. The caregiver will be present while your parent eats to safeguard him or her from any choking incident. A caregiver schedules and oversees mealtimes, so your loved ones get the proper nourishment they need. A in home care provider can also take your loved one to the grocery store if your parent wants to choose some items him or herself. Whether it is taste disturbances, difficulty accessing or preparing food because of functional limitations, cognitive decline, anxiety, or depression, hiring an in home care provider will ensure your loved one is well cared for so there is less stress for you. Having a loved one with limited ability to prepare meals is never easy, and in many cases, the spouse or adult children cannot stop working full-time to take care of their loved one or parent. In addition to the financial obligations, caring for a loved one takes a lot of time, energy, and if your parent has illnesses, he or she requires even more attention. Hiring an in home care provider will give your loved one the care he or she needs while putting you at ease knowing your parent is in good hands.
If you are searching for a caring, trustworthy, professional senior home care in McLean, or in home care in Falls Church, or home care in Burke, please contact Safe and Secure Transition Home Care at (703)539-0411 or Click the Image Below: