Why eating with a senior is so important

Written by ryan. Posted in Uncategorized

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Published on November 30, 2010 with No Comments

We hear it on the news all of the time – families just do not sit down and eat together anymore. Our hurried lifestyles are getting in the way of quality time with our families at the dinner table. While it is important to have a sit-down meal with your children, it is equally as important to have frequent sit-down meals with your aging parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends.

Seniors who eat alone have a higher chance of becoming under- or mal-nourished. They often do not eat a proper diet or enough of the foods provided for them. That is why it is important to slow down, sit a while, enjoy the meal and have a good conversation with the senior in your life. Not only will companionship at the dinner table make mealtime more enjoyable for seniors, but it can also stimulate appetite – helping to insure they get proper nutrition for good health and independence.

In addition to sitting down and eating with seniors, preparing a meal can be just as important. When you prepare a meal together, you also provide your loved one mental stimulation that is essential to health and independence – as you strengthen your bond together. This time together also provides the opportunity to observe how the senior is getting along and if he or she may need additional help around the house.

The professional caregivers of Comfort Keepers do all of these things, providing this same type of stimulation to seniors through Interactive Caregiving, our unique system of care that engages seniors mentally, physically, socially and emotionally to improve their quality of life.

Here are a few more tips to help make mealtime for your loved one more enjoyable:

– For a senior who has difficulty cooking, prepare foods in quantity and package them in appropriately-sized portions to freeze and eat later. Keep a list of what is in the freezer or refrigerator on the door; it is easier to plan a meal when your loved one knows what he or she has available.

– Take a senior grocery shopping to help him or her make well-balanced, nutritionally-rich purchases.

– Coordinate a neighbor or friend for the senior to eat with on a regular basis, if you are unavailable.

– Make sure seniors have a comfortable place to eat; set out a nice placemat and linen napkin, or fresh flowers.

– Help the senior to join or start a potluck dinner club with friends.

You may not always be able to provide meal companionship to a senior in your life, but helping find friends to eat with them, assisting in preparing meals, or providing a caregiver like a Comfort Keeper to shop, prepare meals and eat with your senior, can help your loved one stay healthy and nourished.

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