What your senior needs more than anything else is a nutritionally strong diet. This helps her body to have the building blocks that it needs to keep her as healthy as possible.
Talk with Her Doctor
Start out by talking to your aging family member’s doctor about what types of foods she should be eating. Different health conditions can require different dietary changes in order to give your elderly family member the best fuel to work with. You might want to talk with a nutritionist, too, just to get some ideas about how your senior can improve her diet.
Opt for Nutritionally-dense Foods
When you plan menus and hit the grocery store, you’re looking for foods that are called “dense” in a nutritional sense. That doesn’t mean that they’re heavy. What it means is that the food packs a lot of nutrition into each serving by way of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other nutrients that she needs. They also tend to be lower in calories than other foods are.
Eat the Rainbow
Many dieticians and nutritionists recommend “eating the rainbow” as an easy way to get a variety of nutrients into your senior’s everyday diet. This just means including foods that are all sorts of different colors. When you look at your senior’s diet that way, you’ll make sure that she’s getting a wide range of nutritional benefits from fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.
Don’t Completely Remove Foods She Loves
It’s really tempting to tell your senior that now that she’s eating better, cupcakes or other treats are totally off the menu. But that’s not a great way to approach this. If your senior is starting to eat better, then she’s not going to go completely off the rails by having an occasional treat that she enjoys. Remember that this isn’t about punishing your senior. It’s about helping her to eat better.
Get Help with Meal Preparation
One of the biggest problems with switching to a new way of eating is that it’s often difficult to keep up with different recipes and cooking styles. Make life easier for both you and your senior and have someone help her with meal preparation. Home care providers can even help with grocery shopping and cleanup, which makes changing to a new eating plan even easier on your elderly family member.
Completely changing how your senior eats is a big task, so remember that you’re not going to make it happen overnight. Start out with small changes and let your senior adjust before you try to add bigger changes to the mix. You’ll get better results and your senior will start to see benefits as you go along.