You might not see the reason why, but your elderly loved one could be experiencing a lot of stress at mealtimes. If this is happening with your elderly loved one, it is important to realize that something needs to change. Even the littles distractions could be causing your elderly loved one to not eat. They might feel stressed, overwhelmed, or irritable at mealtimes. However, there are ways you and the caregivers could help to reduce the stress from meals for your elderly loved one.
Giving Your Loved One Finger Foods
If your elderly loved one has Alzheimer’s disease or a condition where they can’t use utensils well, it might be best to give them finger foods. For instance, your elderly loved one might eat better if they can eat pizza rather than chicken. Your elderly loved one may feel less stressed being able to pick up their food than having to use a fork to eat it. If you have noticed that your elderly loved one seems stressed when they have to use forks or spoons, get them more foods they can eat with their fingers. This could help more than you realize.
Don’t Clean Up During Their Meals
Have you found that you constantly pick up after your elderly loved one during their meals? If so, do your best not to clean up until after they are fully done eating and have left the table. If you are trying to clean up every time your elderly loved one drops something or makes a mess, it could distract them. If they get stressed because they are distracted, it could cause them to have more issues later in the evening. If you just let your elderly loved one eat the way they want or need to and clean up later, it could save a lot of hassle for everyone.
Avoiding the Bones
Your elderly loved one might enjoy fish. However, with most types of fish, there may be some bones in them. If you are going to serve your elderly loved one fish, be sure you remove the bones from it first. If your elderly loved one has caregivers, be sure they are doing this, as well. If there is no other reason why your elderly loved one can’t have fish, then removing the bones, ensures they can still eat what they enjoy. If your elderly loved one is still able to eat things they like, it can make mealtimes much less stressful for them.
These are some of the ways you can help to reduce the stress around mealtimes for your elderly loved one. If your elderly loved one has certain health conditions, they may have difficulties making their own meals. If this is the case, as long as you are using these tips to make mealtimes easier, then your elderly loved one can eat without having the stress.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Home Care in Northfield, IL, call the caring staff at LifeCare Home Health & In-Home Services. Call (888) 606-4199 LifeCare serves all of the Chicago Metro Area.
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