Seniors need the right amount of nutrients and with that comes a well-balanced meal. However, not every senior is going to crave healthy foods. While forcing them to eat is going to be both damaging to them and to you, it is also something that is not usually recommended. There are softer, gentler ways that you can work with your parent or loved one to ensure that they eat healthy, while also giving them praise when they do. Take care of your aging parents, but make sure to stay firm with the heating habits that they should have.
- Alter the Food – Many times senior lose their appetites because their senses aren’t as sharp as they once were, making the food they eat bland and boring. Eating becomes more of a chore than enjoyable pasttime. By spicing the food differently and changing the zest, you can peak their interests.
- Visuals May Be Off – If they see the food, and it looks like mush because of their poor eyesight then perhaps it is time to spice up the look of the food. If it doesn’t look appealing to them, they are not going to want to touch it. Add vibrant colors, and dress it up to make it appear more appealing.
- Constipation – This can keep anyone away from food if they suffer from it for far too long. In order to get things moving, have them take a small laxative throughout the week and increase the amount of water that they drink. Dehydration can be one of the biggest roles that plays a part in constipation.
- Chewing Problems – If your parent is having a hard time chewing the food, this can make them skip meals all together. Consider serving softer, easier to chew foods. If they are experiencing pain, it might be time to bring them to a dentist to have the pain assessed and treated.
- Are They Alone? – Some people do not like to eat when they are alone. Eating a meal during the day by yourself can feel more like a chore than something to enjoy. Try bringing them out to lunch throughout the week, or bringing dinner in to them and enjoying it with them. They might just want someone to talk too during meal times.
- Lack of Motivation – If they are just not feeling up to it, or they do not feel like they need too then this should be remedied. However, you should encourage them instead of being harsh about their eating habits. Suggest the facts that they will feel better after they eat, or that their medication will work better.
- Do Not Want to Cook – A lot of elderly parents do not want to cook when it is just them. They would rather not stand by the stove and would eat a pastry over cooking something. Meals on Wheels is a program that works with the elderly to provide nutritious hot foods each and every day. Cooking your parents well balanced meals that can be frozen is another great idea.
Whether you’re concerned about nutrition, or their safety; there are always ways to help them without having to be intrusive on their every day lives. Taking these tips in mind, and considering other aids to help can put them in the best position to remain independent, but also having your help at the same time.