The Top Three Dietary Challenges for Seniors, and How to Overcome Them

Dietary Challenges for SeniorsIn our years of providing California in-home senior care, one common thread we see over and over again is the struggle with meeting nutritional requirements. For a variety of reasons, maintaining – or starting – good dietary habits in later years is a struggle. Below are some of the most prevalent dietary challenges for seniors, and tips to overcome them.

Trouble Chewing:

For seniors who cannot chew food well, meats and fresh fruits and vegetables can be a problem. The FDA suggests the following substitutions:

  • Instead of fresh fruit, try fruit juice, apple sauce, or canned peaches and pears.
  • Instead of raw vegetables, try vegetable juices or mashed and cooked vegetables.
  • Instead of meat, try ground meat, eggs, milk, cheese, yogurt and other dairy products.
  • Instead of sliced bread, try cooked cereals, rice, bread pudding and soft cookies.

Unable to Shop for Groceries:

Some seniors may have problems shopping for themselves due to being unable to drive or having ambulation issues. The FDA suggests:

  • Requesting a local store deliver groceries to the home.
  • Requesting volunteer shopping help from a local church, synagogue or volunteer center.
  • Asking a family member or neighbor to help with shopping.
  • Enlisting the help of a local home care agency.

Lack of Appetite:

Elderly people who live alone sometimes feel lonely at mealtimes, which can lead to a loss of appetite. They may also not feel up to making a meal just for themselves or the medication that they take might make food taste bad. For these issues, the FDA suggests:

  • Eating with family and friends.
  • Joining group meal programs offered through local senior citizens programs.
  • Talking to a doctor about whether or not medication might be a problem.
  • Contacting a local home care agency to have a companion prepare and participate in making meal time a social activity.

One of the best ways to ensure your senior loved one is eating a healthy, balanced diet is to partner with a professional senior care agency, like Hillendale Home Care in California. We begin all care with a free RN assessment visit and creation of a personalized care plan to address each senior’s individual needs and desires. We then continually review and modify the plan as needed to ensure that all existing care needs are met, and we’re prepared and ready for any future needs as well.

One of our most popular services is the planning and preparation of delicious and nutritious meals, along with friendly companionship to make meal time more enjoyable. We’ll even handle all of the grocery shopping and clean-up afterwards! Call us at 925-933-8181 to learn more about our home care in Walnut Creek and the surrounding areas and to get started on improving the health and wellbeing of your senior loved one!