As people get older, they often find that they have less and less of an appetite. When you add in medical issues, dementia, medication and other potential problems, the issue can get even worse. You might be worried that your house-bound senior parent might not be getting proper nutrition, but following a few tips can help.
1. Talk to Your Parent's Doctor About Supplements
First of all, make sure that you stay in communication with your loved one's doctor. Let him or her know about your concerns. Then, your parent's doctor might make changes to his or her medication to help prevent your loved one's loss of appetite. Plus, he or she can give you advice about vitamins and supplements that your loved one can take. He or she might even suggest a meal replacement shake that can be consumed instead of a meal.
2. Make Eating Easy
As your parent has gotten older, he or she might not be able to cook like he or she used to. Plus, being house-bound makes it pretty hard to go out and buy groceries or meals. Try to make eating as easy for your loved one as you can. These are a few ideas that might help:
- If you live nearby, consider dropping off a plate when you cook or go out to eat. This will also allow you to check in on your loved one regularly.
- Consider making a few soups, stews or casseroles ahead of time that can be fully cooked and stashed in the freezer.
- Make sure that your loved one's groceries are easily accessible, such as being on a low shelf, so that your parent can get to them easily without getting hurt.
- Consider enrolling in a grocery delivery service that will drop off easy-to-prepare foods for your loved one.
3. Hire a Home Health Care Worker
If you have not yet thought about hiring a home health care worker, it might be a good idea. One of these professionals can prepare meals for your loved one, ensure that he or she is taking his or her supplements and medication and can let you know if there are any changes in his or her appetite.
It's certainly a valid concern if you are worried about your senior parent not getting proper nutrition. However, if you follow these three tips, you can help reduce this problem and ensure your loved one stays healthy.