Food and nutrition play an important role in staying well. But many people lose their interest in food as they get older and, according to Home Instead research, one in five over 75s struggle to cook their own food.
As part of our new campaign called ‘Stay Nourished,’ our aim is to raise awareness of the importance of maintaining healthy eating habits.
Home Instead Harrogate, Ripon and Thirsk is here to share its knowledge and help recognise the signs of malnutrition so that families or those providing care and support can take action.
Here are some top tips for encouraging your loved one to enjoy mealtimes:
- Keep mealtimes interesting. Aromas can help to stimulate the appetite. Encourage your loved one to get involved in the selection, preparation and serving of meals wherever possible.
Top Tip: Help your loved one to make a shopping list and decide on a healthy meal plan for the week.
- Make the dining area comfortable, remove distractions and create a nice atmosphere.
- Think about portion sizes; If appetite is a problem, it is better to introduce smaller portions more often instead of a large plate of food 3 times a day. Offering finger foods is also a good way to encourage people to eat if someone doesn’t want a traditional meal.
- Ensure healthy snack options are available and make sure food and drinks are easily accessible throughout the day.
- Avoid calorie-free or low-fat products unless your loved one has specifically been advised to eat them by their GP.
- Always prioritise mealtimes and try to create a mealtime routine. Avoid rushing and coercing someone to eat. Gentle persuasion is better.
- Confront the myth that weight loss is a normal process with ageing as our bodies become less active. Weight loss is not a normal part of the ageing process
If you are feeling under strain and need a helping hand or a bit of respite time, Home Instead can help. Our CAREGivers can provide help around the house as well as assistance with meal preparation, shopping and errands.
Find out more about how our CAREGivers can help your loved one to eat well and stay well at home by contacting Home Instead on 01423 774490 or email [email protected]