Malnutrition is a common and serious problem among elderly people. Whether it’s caused by depression or limited income, malnutrition can lead to a weakened immune system, brittle bones and other issues. If you’ve been noticing that your elderly parent has been losing weight rapidly, he or she might not be getting the proper nutrition. Here are some ways to help and elderly parent fight malnutrition:
Spice Up Bland Foods
People’s taste buds can change as they get older and more foods may taste bland. If many food taste bland to your parent, he or she might not want to eat them. That’s why you should add different spices to your parent’s meals. For example, you can make a plain chicken breast taste great with onion powder, thyme and paprika. If your parent enjoys the flavor of different foods, he or she will be or excited to eat them.
If your elderly parent looks malnourished, serve him or her more healthy snacks in between meals. For example, you could serve your parent some almonds or a piece whole wheat toast with almond butter. These foods are packed with healthy fats and other nutrients that are good for your parent.
Help Your Parent Get Regular Exercise
Regular exercise is important for people of all ages, including seniors. Physical activity won’t just boost your parent’s mood and improve flexibility. It can also stimulate his or her appetite. After your parent gets done exercising, he or she may likely feel hungry and want to eat something. Have your parent start with lightweight exercises, such as brisk walking, swimming and yoga. These exercises are easy on the joints and can reduce the risk of injuries. If your parent is in a wheelchair, you could have him or her do exercises, like air punches or bicep curls with light weights.
Invite Your Parent Over for Meals
Eating alone all the time can get depressing for an elderly person after a while. If you invite your parent for dinner at your home or take him or her out to a restaurant on occasion, he or she may get more excited about eating a meal.
Ask the Doctor About Supplements
If your parent is having difficulty getting all the necessary nutrients from food, you may want to ask his or her doctors about supplements. These supplements can provide your parent with the nutrients he or she needs to stay healthy and strong.
Hire a Home Nurse
If you’re having trouble tending to your parent’s nutritional needs, you may want to consider hiring a home nurse. This health professional can come to your loved one’s home, prepare meals and make sure he or she eats well.
If your elderly parent needs extra assistance at home, you should hire an experienced home nurse to help him or her. You will have a peace of mind knowing that someone reliable and trustworthy is looking after your loved one.