Heaven at Home Senior Care’s Tips for Eating Well for Older Adults

Many older people have trouble eating well. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration offers some solutions to several common problems.

Problem: Can’t cook

Problems with cooking can include difficulty holding utensils, pots and pans or trouble standing for long periods of time.

What one should do:

  • A microwave oven can be used to cook TV dinners, other frozen foods and foods made ahead of time by the store.
  • Group meal programs offered through senior citizen programs can provide cooked meals, either at their location or brought to the home.
  • Heaven at Home Senior Care can provide a caregiver who can cook nutritious meals in the comfort of the home.
  • Moving to a place where someone else will cook, such as a family member’s home or a home for senior citizens, can be considered.

Problem: Can’t shop

Some people may have problems shopping for food as a result of being unable to drive or having trouble walking or standing for
a long time.

What one should do:

  • Request a local food store deliver groceries to the home. Some stores provide this service for free, while others may charge a fee.
  • A church, synagogue or local volunteer center can be contacted with a request for volunteer help.
  • A family member or neighbor can provide help with shopping.
  • Heaven at Home Senior Care can be hired to provide shopping assistance.

Problem: Can’t chew

Those who have trouble chewing may have trouble eating foods, such as meat, fresh fruits and vegetables.

What one should do: Try other foods.

Instead of fresh fruit and raw vegetables, try:

  • fruit juices
  • soft canned fruits, such as applesauce, peaches and pears
  • vegetable juices
  • creamed, mashed and cooked vegetables

Instead of meat, try:

  • ground meat
  • eggs
  • milk
  • cheese
  • yogurt
  • foods made with milk, such as pudding and cream soups

Instead of sliced bread, try:

  • cooked cereals
  • rice
  • bread pudding
  • soft cookies

Problem: Upset stomach

Too much gas and other stomach problems may cause people to stay away from foods they think cause the problem. This means they could be missing out on important nutrients, such as vitamins, calcium, fiber and protein.

What one should do: Try other foods

Instead of milk, try:

  • milk foods that may not upset the stomach, such as cream soups, pudding, yogurt and cheese

Instead of vegetables, such as cabbage and broccoli, try:

  • vegetable juices
  • other vegetables, such as green beans, carrots and potatoes

Instead of fresh fruit, try:

  • fruit juices
  • soft canned fruits

Problem: No appetite

Older people who live alone sometimes feel lonely at mealtimes, a feeling which can result in loss of appetite. Or they may not feel like making meals for just themselves. Maybe the food prepared has no flavor or tastes bad. This could be caused by medicines they are taking.

What one should do:

  • Contact Heaven at Home Senior Care to get a companion to not only prepare meals, but to participate in making meal time a social time.
  • Ask a doctor if medicines could be causing appetite or taste problems. If so, ask about changing medicines.
  • Take part in group meal programs offered through senior citizen programs.
  • Increase the flavor of food by adding spices and herbs.
  • Eat with family and friends.

To learn more about senior diet and nutrition issues and how our Dallas home care services can help your loved ones eat better, contact our senior in home care team today!