Barriers to proper nutrition
As people age, they often lose interest in food. Research has shown that our taste buds change as we get older. When food no longer tastes as good as it once did, people are less inclined to eat. Certain medical conditions or medications can also have a negative impact on taste, smell, and ultimately a senior’s appetite. Sometimes a condition can make it difficult for an older adult to chew and/or swallow. If the senior adult has Alzheimer’s or other form of dementia, eating can go from being a familiar, comfortable experience to one that is confusing and stressful. If the older adult lives alone, mealtimes may be lonely.
For aging seniors with physical or mental impairments, difficulties with any aspect of planning, shopping or meal preparation can become an obstacle to good nutrition. Finally, older people sometimes stop cooking and eating healthy meals simply because it is too much trouble to go through for only one or two people. When this happens, the elderly individual can end up eating a lot of frozen or packaged foods which are not the healthiest choices.
How can Family Resource help?
- If planning and preparing meals is part of a client’s care plan, caregivers will assist with all aspects of planning and preparing foods to their client’s preferences.
- During the initial assessment, the client (with input from family, if appropriate) will be asked about their likes, dislikes, mealtimes, and routine. This information is included in the client’s care plan.
- Our caregivers will take into account special diets (ie, low-sugar, low-sodium) and help adapt foods to meet the client’s needs.
- Depending on the needs and interests of the client, the caregiver may grocery shop with or without them.
- Depending on the number of shifts worked each week, our caregivers can cook daily meals or cook a larger item such as a soup or casserole and then divide it into portions to be frozen and reheated later.
- Clients who have enjoyed cooking or baking, but can no longer do so due to medical or cognitive reasons, can be encouraged to participate in the process by doing tasks to assist (washing veggies, mixing ingredients) while the caregiver does the rest.
- Caregivers will provide assistance at the table ranging from making the food look appealing on the plate to feeding clients who are unable to feed themselves. Cutting up food, getting utensil to mouth, providing cueing to remind the client to chew and swallow, and encouraging drinks of water between bites. These are just a few of the approaches we take to help our clients enjoy and get the most out of their meals.
- Following meal preparation, our caregivers will clean the kitchen, wash dishes, wipe down counters and appliances, sweep the floor, and take out the trash.
Help with Meal Planning and Preparation keeps seniors independent, healthy and happy in their own home
The team at Family Resource Home Care is committed to providing the best quality care and services to keep seniors healthy, safe, active, and independent. Our services are customized to the needs and desires of each client and are designed to achieve the quality of life they seek. Our caregivers are experienced, highly qualified, and offer attentive and caring help as needed.
How do you establish Meal Planning and Preparation Services with Family Resource Home Care?
At Family Resource, we start by listening.
Every client is different and has their own unique likes, dislikes, and needs. We learn all we can about the senior from their health history to current lifestyle, interests, and concerns. We will work with the senior to determine what kind of meals they wish to eat and how much they want to be part of the planning and preparation. We’ll also talk to family members to learn more and build a complete understanding of the client. Once we have a thorough understanding of the needs and personality of the client, we carefully select a caregiver from our pool of screened, qualified individuals who have been given thorough background checks, provided required references, and been through an in-depth interview. We only work with caregivers who are genuinely nice and care about their clients.
Every Family Resource caregiver is trained and has their own insured vehicle making shopping and errands simple. However, if you or your loved one prefers that the caregiver drive your car, that can also be arranged.