As the effects of aging take their toll on our bodies it can be a struggle to remain well nourished. One of the greatest concerns of adult children is that their elderly parents are getting proper nutrition. The reason for so much concern over nutrition is due to the powerful health benefits that nutritious eating can bring. It can also be an essential method for managing many long-term health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis just to name a few.
The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is encouraging all older adults and their caregivers to take time to learn the warning signs of malnutrition and stay informed about ways to make healthy food accessible to seniors.
“While there are many reasons why seniors do not eat well, there are four main reasons that we have seen in our 30+ years in home care. Changes in medications, lack of energy, limited access to grocery shopping and loneliness seem to be the biggest culprits to poor nutrition. Eating is a very social practice and when an individual becomes more isolated, food intake will be effected in either the form of over eating or under eating. All four of these issues contribute to a diet full of non-beneficial calories and low nutrients”, says Jenée Mendillo, Holistic Health Coach at Bayshore Home Care in Tampa Bay, FL.
The solution to this epidemic of elderly malnutrition may be more simple than we realize. Although we cannot remove all the culprits, adult sons and daughters are finding that making fresh food more accessible to seniors is one of the best ways to combat senior self-neglect.
The recent onslaught of grocery delivery services and clickable food delivery such as uberEATS would, in theory, solve the dilemma of how to make fresh food accessible to seniors. However, the technology gap seems to prevent these services from being beneficial to the elderly who are not proficient on smart phones.
In an ideal world families would share the duties of shopping and preparing healthful foods for their elderly loved ones, but let’s get back to reality. It seems as though no one has time for meal planning.
“Over the years we have found several solutions to keeping fresh food accessible as well as feeding the social needs of seniors”, says Mrs. Mendillo. She urges families to take advantage of home care services that may be ‘outside the box’ of traditional care.
5 simple solutions to making fresh food accessible.
- Individualized meal planning
- Shopping list creation
- Personal shopping as well as compete unloading into pantry and refrigerator
- Meal preparation
- Getting out of the house for a social meal
“We are thrilled to say that we have been providing all of these helpful services for decades and we have seen wonderful results among our senior clients. The peace of mind that we can bring to adult children when they know that their parent(s) are getting what they need is heart warming.”