When it comes to health and longevity, diet is one of the biggest determining factors. Yes, genetics play a role, but the food you consume has a direct impact on your health, the risk of disease, energy levels and even mental health and well-being.
Eating enough of the right foods can improve cognition, stave off depression, lower blood glucose levels and blood pressure, reduce the risks of heart attack and help maintain a healthy diet and weight.
It’s not always easy, though. For seniors living alone, the prospect of cooking meals for oneself may seem daunting or even pointless. Motivating seniors to maintain a healthy diet can be more of the challenge. If past eating habits weren’t so great, making a drastic diet change will seem much less appeasing and unfamiliar to seniors.
Keeping fresh, whole foods in the home is also an issue if transportation or funds are limited.
The following are some tips to keep seniors motivated on eating healthier and living healthier.
Try New Things
People can get set in their ways around food at an early age! Trying new things is essential though, especially if current and past eating habits aren’t so healthy. Finding new, exciting recipes is one way to break out of old eating habits and cultivate new ones. Tips for trying new recipes:
- Keep it simple!
- Choose foods that excite you!
- Don’t force yourself to eat foods you can’t stand.
Make It Fun
Eating right can be an adventure. Taking trips to the farmers market, trying new recipes and taking time to make mealtime fun are part of a healthy, fulfilling lifestyle. Eating with other people instead of being alone is also a good idea.
Get Help Shopping And Preparing Meals
If shopping and cooking are difficult or overwhelming, enlisting the help of a caregiver is the solution.
Hiring a caregiver to come in and help plan and prep meals is one way to ensure that seniors are getting enough quality meals each day. For some seniors, limited mobility, fatigue and even depression can interfere with the ability to eat healthy foods. Unfortunately, a surprising amount of seniors are malnourished and underweight because they don’t have access to healthy food.
A caregiver can help make sure the cupboards and refrigerator are stocked with healthy snacks and the ingredients for balanced meals. He or she can even prepare and freeze meals so that they can be eaten throughout the week.
Depending on the situation and how much support a senior has, a hired caregiver can be there daily, or just a two or three days a week. For seniors who don’t have family close by, a caregiver can help with shopping, or even meal planning and budgeting.
Eating healthy foods that include lots of lean protein, fresh veggies and whole grains help reduce the likelihood of heart disease, diabetes, low blood sugar and other health issues. A healthy diet also helps improve existing health problems.
More Than Help With Cooking And Shopping
It’s important to realize that caregivers aren’t just there to offer services like shopping, cooking, cleaning and help with medications and getting around.
They also provide essential social interaction and support. One of the biggest problems faced by seniors who live alone is isolation. The problem is particularly bad if family isn’t readily available. The daily interaction with caregivers can help reduce the risk of depression and even cognitive decline in seniors. This is just as valuable, if not more, than the other services provided.
If you are a senior in need of care, or you have a senior in your life who needs care, contact ActiveCare Home Care today to learn more about the services we offer and how we can help.