How Can You Tell if Your Senior Parent Is Eating a Healthy Diet?
By Gary Hightower 9 am on
Your senior parent once fed you nourishing meals that helped you become the person you are today. The last thing you could ever want is to know your loved one is going without healthy meals that help him or her stay strong with age. Many older adults are vulnerable to malnutrition due to problems such as being too tired or sick to cook. Making sure your parent is eating well can ease your worries and ensure your loved one stays on track with his or her goals for aging.
Take Note of Your Parent’s Hunger Levels
Changes in health can affect the appetite. Watch for signs of a poor appetite, such as pushing food away or leaving favorite foods on the plate. If your loved one doesn’t eat well when you or a caregiver is there, it’s possible he or she isn’t eating much when home alone, either. This might be a sign your loved one has a developing health condition, such as a digestive disorder, impacting his or her hunger levels, or he or she may need to be more active to stimulate his or her appetite.
Check Food Storage Areas
Seniors who aren’t cooking may have bare pantries and refrigerators. Large amounts of spoiled food could mean your loved one isn’t opening the doors often enough to even notice. If your loved one’s food storage areas look unused, ask why. Your parent may tell you he or she is afraid to drive to the grocery store or doesn’t know what to cook. Opening up a dialogue about grocery shopping and meal prep can give you an easy way to suggest home care assistance to your loved one.If your loved one needs help with grocery shopping and planning nutritious meals, a professional caregiver can be a wonderful resource.At-home careproviderscan benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Look for Patterns of Weight Gain or Loss
Weight loss is the most obvious clue a senior isn’t eating well, but you might also need to be concerned about pounds suddenly piling on. Seniors sometimes resort to packaged snack foods when cooking is difficult. While a bag of chips might temporarily fill your loved one up, he or she is missing out on valuable nutrients during a time when his or her body needs them most. Meal prep services provide seniors with meals that are just as easy as opening a package. When your loved one knows a nutritious meal is available that simply needs to be heated up, he or she may be more likely to opt for healthy choices.
Ask about Health Conditions
Poor eating habits can rapidly cause chronic health conditions to get worse. You might notice this the most with diabetes, but it’s also common for seniors with other issues to experience worsening health. For example, low blood sugar can make vertigo or mood swings worse. Getting your loved one back on track with eating healthy can quickly boost his or her overall wellbeing.Living with serious health conditions can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Arlington seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.
Arrange for a Medical Checkup
During checkups, doctors perform blood work and other tests to assess seniors’ general health. Hearing your loved one is prediabetic or experiencing heart issues is a sign a healthier diet could enhance his or her wellbeing. Talk to your loved one about what he or she finds out after annual health exams to see if you need to make adjustments to his or her menu planning.In Arlington, in-home care agenciescan be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. Schedule a free in-home consultation by giving us a call today at (817) 591-1580.