Nutrition and Seniors

by michellerogers on April 8, 2009

Did you know that according to a study in June 2006 report by CNN.com and the Mayo Clinic, more than half of all seniors cared for at home are malnourished or undernourished? 

Due to our economic situation our concern should be to ensure our seniors are receiving balanced healthy meals.  Healthy habits increase our seniors quality of life, improve and reduce recovery periods from illness and/or injury and decrease cost and frequency of hospital/care facility stays. 

Family members, neighbors and/or professional caregivers can join in on making healthy meals and making it a fun event.  Developing a meal plan and creating a fund activity with the preparation, along with setting the table and creating a nice presentation increases our seniors stimulation and exercise while getting them interested in eating too.

Last year one of client’s stopped eating and when I received a call from our CAREGiver crying that our client was not consuming food I decided to visit.  He was weak and not really engaged compared to past visits.  I pleaded with the Client that he needed to eat to stay healthy and alert and I let him know how upset our CAREGiver was with the current situation. Fortunately he started eating and once again became more engaged and began to venture out of his home.  In fact our CAREGiver started taking our Client out weekly which included trips to restaurants to make it interesting for our Client.

There can be many reasons why seniors tend to limit food intake which can be related to medications, lack of activity, recent lifestyle changes and emotional issues just to name a few.  I encourage people to try and understand the individual and/or couple’s situation to help navigate and find a solution that results in healthy eating habits.

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