Seniors need more calcium and a well-balanced diet, but many times, especially during an illness, our problem is trying to just getting them to eat anything. As we age, our sweet taste buds remain the most vibrant. So offering puddings, ice cream and yogurt to seniors will often get them eating.
Encouraging Elderly To Eat
Experts that work with physicians to determine nutritional needs for healthy and ill seniors have found that if a caregiver is having trouble getting a senior to eat, stocking the fridge with fresh fruit, yogurts and ice cream are items that appeal to an elderly person as they are easy to eat. Granola, cereal bars and trail mix are also good choices to keep seniors eating.
Jean cared for her 90 year old mom and found that having company made a big difference for her. "Sometimes she eats well," said Gonzales. "But eating alone makes a big difference. Sometimes she just doesn’t feel like cooking. She does much better when she has someone over." Jean tried to sit down with her mother and share the meal. Food and conversation just goes together. Older people grew up eating as a family. Let's face it. No one likes to eat alone. Jean said her mother does love her sweets and keeps candy and cookies around to munch on. "Mom says she can’t taste and can’t smell," Gonzales said. "So foods just don’t taste that good. But she doesn’t have any trouble eating sweets."
How Do You Encourage Seniors To Eat?
For seniors who just can't manage the cooking, getting delivered meals in can really help like Meals on the Wheels or other companies who provides regular meal delivery to seniors. Many factors may cause seniors to experience a lack of appetite, including medications and illnesses. Most seniors do love to eat soup because soup is soothing and easy to eat. The good thing about soup is you can make up a big pot, and then put it in small containers that are easily heated.
Many communities have senior centers where meals are served. Getting seniors involved in these centers is a great way to keep seniors eating and socializing. Exercise is often not a priority for seniors. This can also contribute to a lack of appetite and increase their chances of developing osteoporosis. So, take a walk with your senior loved one, share a meal, and don't forget desert!
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About The Author: Karen Everett Watson is a Gerontologist and has over 10 years experience as a Journalist. Karen has spent 4 years in the senior community interviewing retirement community residents and wrtites articles for SeniorCareHomes.com, a comprehensive Assisted Living online directory, trusted by seniors and families. SeniorCareHomes.com also provides free placement services to help Seniors and their families find assisted living based on the senior's care needs, family's budget and location.
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