Some normal aspects of aging, like chewing issues and the effects of certain medications, can make it difficult for seniors to get the nutrition they need. Therefore, without constantly preparing and/or supervising all your loved one’s meals and snacks, it’s often hard to know if dietary needs are being met. Answering the following questions, however, can help family members notice a lack of proper nutrition and create a better diet plan.
- Has the senior complained of loss of appetite, digestive problems, or chewing or swallowing difficulties? Has there been decreased food intake over the past 3 months due to these complaints?
- Has the senior experienced weight loss during the last 3 months? Weight loss, particularly in those who are not active, can be an indication that the person is not eating properly.
- Does the senior have mobility issues? Being bed bound or unable to go outside can cause nutritional challenges like inability to buy groceries or prepare meals.
- Has the senior suffered psychological stress or acute disease in the past 3 months?
- What is the senior’s body mass index (BMI)? A BMI of 18.5 or less may be a sign that the person is not eating enough, while a BMI of 30 or more can indicate obesity.
If you are concerned that your loved one is not getting enough to eat, contact his or her doctor to determine whether there is an underlying health issue to blame and what you can do to help the senior create a better nutrition plan. The caregivers at Heaven at Home can also help! From grocery shopping to preparing meals to eating with the senior, our caregivers can help alleviate some of the eating issues common among older adults and monitor nutritional intake. Contact us today in the Dallas, TX area to learn how our in-home care services can work for your family.