Getting the right nutrition is a key component to staying healthy. However, the nutrition we need changes as we age, while at the same time, making meals can become more difficult. At Home Care Assistance, we know just how important good nutrition is, so we have put together this information to help you ensure your loved one eats the foods they need.
As we age, our bodies slow down, so we usually need fewer calories. However, there are specific nutrients that we need to eat more of as we get older. For example, older adults require more protein to stay healthy and reduce muscle loss. Calcium requirements also increase as we get older to avoid osteoporosis and broken bones. Getting these increased nutritional requirements when the requirement for calories is lower, all while shopping and cooking can become harder to do, can be tricky. However, there are ways you can help your loved one get the nutrition they need.
The first step to eating healthily is to ensure the right foods are in the house. We all have those times when it is easier to avoid shopping and just eat something ‘instant’ for dinner. This is especially the case if going shopping is as difficult as it can be when we get older. The process of getting to the shops, doing the shopping, and then getting it home and unpacked, can be too much for older loved ones. If this is the case for your loved one, consider alternative options such as taking your loved one shopping so you can help them, doing the shopping for them, or arranging home delivery. If your loved one receives in-home care from Home Care Assistance, our Care Professionals can help your loved one with grocery shopping. Pre-planning meals that have the right nutrients without too many calories, and then creating a shopping list, also helps ensure the right food is in the house.
Pre-preparing meals are also helpful if your loved one struggles to cook. Having something that can simply be heated up and eaten makes it easy to eat well. Sometimes this doesn’t even need to be having the meals fully prepared, pre-peeling and cutting up vegetables ready to be cooked can make things more manageable. If freezing meals, consider freezing them in single-serve sizes. It helps to reduce waste and makes it faster to heat and eat. If your loved one is receiving home care from Home Care Assistance, meal preparation is a task our Care Professionals can help with. If this is not already in your loved one’s care plan, talk to us to arrange this. Another consideration in meal preparation is making meals that are soft if your loved one struggles to chew. Sometimes sore teeth can put an older adult off eating, so taking this into consideration is important.
When considering nutrition, remember that healthy snack options are also important. Consider snacks that are high in protein such as nuts, yogurt, or pre-boiled eggs.
Getting the right nutrition is an important part of aging well. But getting the right nutrition can have its challenges. Ensuring there is healthy food in the house, pre-preparing meals, and having healthy snacks on hand, can help make it easier for your loved one. If your loved one needs assistance with grocery shopping and meal preparation, there is help available. At Home Care Assistance, our Care Professionals often assist with these tasks to help ensure your loved one gets the right nutrition.
Support of a home care agency like Home Care Assistance, can bring enormous benefit and comfort to your quality of life while living independently at home. Home Care Assistance has viable solutions when it comes to supporting independent living. For more information, get in touch with a Home Care Assistance near me today.