Massachusetts Caregivers Beware: Poor Nutrition Affects One in Four Seniors

Published on Wednesday, 14 May 2014 15:07
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May is Older Americans Month. A time of year we celebrate our seniors and work to raise awareness about unique struggles they face. One challenge is maintaining a healthy diet when they no longer drive and may have physical impairments that make cooking difficult. The National Council on Aging (NCOA) estimates that one in four older adults suffers from a poor diet. If you are a Massachusetts caregiver for a senior loved one, you may wonder how you can tell if your loved one is at risk. We’ve pulled together a few ideas to help you make that determination.

Determining a Senior Loved One’s Risk for Poor Nutrition 

When you aren’t with the senior you love every day or even every week, knowing what they really eat in the course of a day isn’t easy to determine. But these quick tips might help you get some idea about their dietary choices.

1.  Poke around the Refrigerator, Pantry and even the Trash Can. Each will give you a better idea of what they are eating. Specifically be on the lookout for:

 2.  Evaluate Your Loved One’s Physical Condition

If you suspect there might be a problem, sit down and talk with them about what their struggles might be. There may be physical or financial reasons they aren’t maintaining a healthy diet. Some typical challenges for seniors include: lack of transportation to the grocery store, dental problems including ill-fitting dentures, health conditions that make them feel unsafe in the kitchen, lack of appetite caused by one of their medications, and a budget that just won’t accommodate the higher cost of fresh fruits and vegetables. 

A few solutions you can consider include enrolling them in a local Massachusetts Meals on Wheels program, talking with their physician about the possibility of depression, and hiring a home care companion to help with grocery shopping and meal preparation.

 

Have you helped a senior loved one in Massachusetts improve their nutrition?

We’d love to hear about it in the comments below…

 

 

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