Eldercare Mealtime Tips For CaregiversPosted on August 27, 2014 by ElderCare Resources in Blog, Caregiver Education, Caregiving, Healthy Living
Even in elder care, mealtime need not be difficult; it can even become an event.
By following a few simple guidelines the caregiving experience around mealtime can be enhanced, particularly for those with eating difficulties, being stubborn not wanting to eat or challenges with using tableware. Get creative and sitting down at the table can be meaningful and fun. Here’s a few tips to get you started and then you can keep adding new ideas as you discover them:
- For elderly, sipping through a start may be easier than holding a glass. Try using a straw for liquids.
- Using a fork may be clumsy. Try finger foods such as wraps, sandwiches, veggies and fruit.
- Softer foods mean less chewing. As we age the teeth don’t always do the same job they used to.
- Kick up the flavor by sweetening with sugar or honey as in aging, those tastebuds don’t always work like they used to.
- If they like it, stick with it. Our seniors are often comfortable with routine, meaning variety is not always the spice of life.
- Supplement nutrition with a shake or other natural supplements.
- Bigger is not always better. Try frequent small meals and snacks, keeping it simple.
- Set the mealtime stage by decreasing distractions such as having the TV on. Older folks often find background noise agitating.
- Who says you need to eat soup with a spoon? To make it easier to eat, try putting soup in a cup or mug and sip.
- Bibs are for kids. Elderly need their dignity so try using an extra large linen napkin or apron instead of a bib.
- Helping is meaningful. Give your elder care recipient a small task like folding a napkin.
- Color everywhere. From plates to what goes on them, color compliments appetite.
- Who wants to eat alone? Make it a social time and share the mealtime together.