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5 Tips for Motivating Your Senior Parent to Eat Healthier

By Debbie Nunn, 9:00 am on

As seniors get older, dietary habits become much more important. Diet is one of the first lines of defense against a wide variety of ailments and health complications. Eating habits also have a major impact on happiness and overall quality of life. Here are a few tips and strategies you can use to encourage your aging parent to stick to a sensible diet.

1. Rule Out Other Issues First

Many medical conditions and medications can impact appetite and eating habits. If your parent has suddenly lost his or her appetite or seems to be gravitating toward high-calorie foods, have a conversation with his or her doctor. Once the doctor has run a few tests and taken a closer look at your loved one’s prescriptions, you can come up with a long-term diet plan. 

A professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support when your loved one is making healthy changes. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust Clarksville elder care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life.

2. Try Prepping Meals Ahead of Time

Many common senior medical issues make it difficult to cook meals. One example would be an older adult who can’t cut vegetables or open cans due to having arthritis in the hands or wrists. At the start of the week, help your parent by bagging up vegetables or cooking a few extra servings of a healthy protein. Making good dietary decisions may be much easier when the refrigerator is filled with healthy snacks. 

Family caregivers need to follow healthy lifestyles too, and that involves self-care and taking time to nurture their own wellbeing. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Clarksville, TN, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.

3. Serve Supplement Shakes

Making nutritious meals from scratch isn’t always going to be possible, and some seniors won’t eat at all if they can’t find something that doesn’t need to be cooked. Luckily, many companies are now offering supplement shakes that are delicious, easy to digest, and fairly affordable. Before purchasing a supplement beverage, carefully look over the ingredients list to make sure it isn’t packed with sugar.

4. Consider Meal Kits

Meal kits won’t always be an ideal option, but they can take the guesswork out of what to eat. It’s also important to remember that some of those kits are unhealthy, but many companies focus on nutrient-dense dishes filled with fresh ingredients. Much like supplement shakes, you need to take a look at all of the ingredients before signing up for any kits. As a general rule, seniors should primarily eat fresh vegetables, healthy fats, and high-quality sources of protein.

5. Make Cooking and Eating a Social Event

Loneliness and social isolation could easily impact your parent’s eating habits and overall appetite. Even if you can’t eat every meal together, try to sit down and eat together at least a few times a week. Sticking to a sensible diet may be much easier if friends and loved ones come over to support those habits. You can also ask the other guests to bring a few extra helpings so your parent has nutritious leftovers for the next few days.

A trained professional caregiver can be an ideal resource when you’re trying to help your senior loved one lead a healthier lifestyle. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of at-home care. Clarksville families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. To learn about our high-quality in-home care services, give us a call at (931) 218-2781 today.

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