“Food just doesn’t taste the same to me.” “I don’t enjoy cooking anymore.” “I can’t get out to go shopping.” According to the Department of Health and Human Services, those familiar sentiments are some of the reasons older adults don’t eat healthy meals. But the consequences of not eating properly can negatively impact physical and psychological health.
A recent article by the National Aging Information Center cites older adults at nutritional risk tend to have “lessened immunity to disease, confusion and disorientation…and make more visits to physicians, hospitals and emergency rooms.”
Making small positive changes over time can improve your health. Use a calendar to keep track of your changes and celebrate your progress. Add fruits and vegetables to every meal. Think simple finger foods like berries, grapes and pea pods. Drink more water, even if you do not feel thirsty you need to hydrate. Write down how much you drink and try to keep sipping throughout the day. The websites of the National Council on Aging and the United States Department of Agriculture have several short videos and tips to remind us that “everything you eat and drink matters”.
If you don’t feel like going to the market, or you are having trouble making your favorite family recipes, then consider in-home assistance to provide companionship during mealtimes as well as help with shopping and cooking.
“A little help can go a long way to improving someone’s quality of life.” states Janet Callaway, co-owner of the local Seniors Helping Seniors® in-home services. “We can be a family’s eyes and ears in the home and a real friend to the loved one in need.”
For questions about nutrition programs contact the Office on Aging at 440-326-4800 or your local Seniors Helping Seniors organization, 440-935-3848, for a free consultation about affordable in-home services.