Many seniors in Miami-Dade often struggle to sleep continuously for eight hours. This challenge is mainly due to the changes in their bodies and overall lifestyles. Medication and health conditions such as dementia, heart disease, and diabetes can also worsen the sleeping pattern.
While it’s a common problem, lack of sleep can be detrimental for people of all ages. If you notice your senior loved ones are not sleeping well, you should seek help from a healthcare professional. Many families with seniors in Miami-Dade are considering senior home care services from Advancare, where their senior loved one can get good quality sleep. In this article, we will list some tips to help improve the quality of sleep in a senior.
Avoid caffeine in the evening
In fact, you should avoid taking fluids in the evening to minimize trips to the bathroom, which can break up your sleep. Caffeine has stimulating effects that can take hours to wear off and interfere with normal sleep. Alcohol may help you fall asleep but will likely disrupt it later.
Avoid naps (if they keep you up until late hours)
Limit daytime naps if they are the main reason for lack of sleep at night. Long daytime naps, especially those taken later in the day, can make it difficult to fall asleep because you may have to make up for the debt. Unless you’ve been active the whole day and want to rest for a few minutes, you should avoid taking naps during the day and limit them only to when you’re tired.
Create a routine; go to bed and wake up at the same time every day
Like any other activity in life, sleep requires a routine that runs even into the weekends. Allow your body to get used to a regular sleeping routine. Set at least eight hours of sleep every day and choose hours with the least disruptions. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. If you fail to fall asleep within the first 20 minutes, leave the room and find something relaxing to do. You can read a book, listen to a podcast or music. Go back to sleep when you feel tired.
Exercise frequently, especially aerobic exercise
Stay as active as you can to avoid falling asleep during the day. Engage in regular physical activities such as aerobic exercise. Stay relaxed around bedtime. You can spend more time outdoors performing regular duties. If you have a short-term disability, you can use the help of a caregiver to perform the exercises.
Meditation or yoga helps relax your mind and body, providing a good atmosphere for rest. You can meditate for two hours before bed to set the mood for sleeping. Depending on your yoga exercises, you can play slow music to enhance your mood.
Relax before bed – take a warm bath and/or read
Create a restful environment that is cool, dark, and quiet. Avoid too much light or sleeping on the couch in the living room. Make your bedroom for sleep only and set it to induce sleep using room-darkening shades. Take a bath or read a book to promote better sleep.
Need help improving your sleep? Our compassionate, caring, and professional caregivers at Advancare have the experience to help you improve your quality of sleep. Contact us today to learn more!
Did you know that seniors feel colder than younger people? Their bodies tend to lose heat fast as they don’t have much fat, which makes them vulnerable to hypothermia. It’s essential to ensure they remain warm throughout the winter, whether outdoors or indoors. That means getting them several pieces of warm, comfortable clothes, especially if they have trouble dressing themselves.
At Advancare, we encourage families to select soft, easy-to-wear, and warm clothes for their senior loved ones during winter. When you hire our caregivers to care for your loved one, they can help you select suitable winter clothing for them. Here are some of the best winter wardrobe items to include in their wardrobe.
A Good Jacket
Sometimes having the correct layers is not enough to provide warmth on colder nights. Colder days calls for high-quality winter jackets, especially if the senior spends a few minutes or hours outdoors. Help them choose something with good insulation to keep them warm and comfortable. It’s also essential to think about their style and splurge a little on durability.
About 45 % of body heat is lost through the head. If you can cover your head correctly, you reduce the rate of heat loss in your body. That’s why hats are critical pieces for staying warm during winter. You can let them wear beanies to keep their heads warmer at home. Beanies offer lots of protection for the head and not just the top of the head. Go for knitted woolen beanies, which best retain heat and absorb sweat.
Unlike the summer, when everyone enjoys staying barefooted, winter calls for heavy footwear to prevent the feet from getting too cold. Invest in slippery-free footwear to prevent slips and falls that can be fatal for seniors. With modern technology comes heated slippers for seniors, which take a few minutes to heat up and continue to warm the feet for several hours. You can also get your senior shoes with thermal insoles to provide additional insulation.
Seniors should wear gloves, especially when heading out in the cold season. The hands are the most exposed part of the body, which makes them prone to cold. As senior ages, their hands get colder faster, especially when outdoors. Fortunately, there are plenty of gloves to keep their hands warm throughout the winter season. If they are not touching the water, they can wear comfy padded gloves made from materials used to generate heat. Others use the heat generated by the body to create thermal energy.
Apart from wearing tops, sweaters, and jackets that go up to the neck, seniors can also incorporate scarves in their wardrobes for additional warmth. A cold neck can lead to strains, pain, and tenderness. Scarves help keep your seniors warm and pain-free. Thermal scarves are also available to generate heat and provide insulation. Seniors can choose the scarf they are more comfortable wearing, especially if they have sensitive skin. Remember, older adults have greater skin sensitivity than other age groups.
Look Good and Feel Good!
When caring for seniors, it’s essential to remember that their well-being is largely influenced by how they feel. A wardrobe change can have a significant influence on their self-image. That’s why you should consult them about their style and what they need.
The cold season is not the best for seniors. They lose body heat faster than younger adults, which makes them feel colder than other people. That’s why you should take special care to ensure they are safe and warm during winter to prevent hypothermia and other cold-related illnesses. Some seniors with dementia may not even notice they feel cold and get help, which can easily lead to hypothermia.
At Advancare, we advise caregivers and families to take measures to ensure seniors are safe and healthy throughout the season. If you don’t have a caregiver or are looking for one, our caregivers offer senior home care services that are second to none. This post highlights what you can do to keep your senior loved one safe, healthy, happy, and comfortable during winter.
To keep warm, you need to ensure the senior dresses appropriately. You can go for warm cotton scarves, mittens, hats, sweaters, and coats to minimize irritation while keeping them warm. Even if they stay indoors, ensure they’re properly and adequately dressed. Keep warm blankets around their favorite couch to cover themselves and stay warm.
Be Smart About Space Heaters
Space heaters can be the best devices for providing additional warmth. However, they can be particularly dangerous when placed around seniors. They can trip and fall on them if kept on their path. You should also have a carbon monoxide detector and keep all heaters away from flammable material such as paper and cloth. Test smoke detectors regularly to ensure heat sources don’t become a health hazard. Inspect the power code from the space heaters to check for burns or any damage signs. Instead of placing the heater in the center of a room, find a permanent position in the corner that a senior can’t knock over.
Seniors generally eat and drink less than any other age group. For this reason, they’re prone to dehydration. While it’s evident that they will be less thirsty during winter, it’s essential to encourage them to consume more fluids. They don’t have to drink only water. You can prepare fresh juice, soups, coffee, and any other drink they will enjoy during winter.
Prevent Hypothermia in Elderly Loved Ones
Seniors have less body fat, which means they lose heat faster. Certain health conditions like liver disease, kidney disorders, and heart disease can affect a senior’s ability to regulate body temperature. Keep in mind that a senior can become hypothermic even while indoors. Therefore, make sure they’re adequately dressed both inside and outside the house.
Let Us Help You Keep Your Senior Warm this Winter in Miami-Dade
Looking for a caregiver to care for your senior loved one in Miami-Dade? Advancare has a solution for you. We have the right caregivers for all your senior’s needs, including light housekeeping, companionship, etc. Feel free to contact us for a quote!
Being a caregiver can be stressful, particularly during the holidays, yet they’re usually the most left out during this period. Many caregivers become physically and emotionally overwhelmed as they deal with holiday prep, work, or grief over lost seniors. Whether you’re a caregiver at Advancare offering senior home care services in Miami-Dade, or a family caregiver, there are ways you can eliminate stress and enjoy the holidays like everyone else. Here are a few suggestions for you.
Take Time To Rest
Caregivers spend most of their time and energy taking care of others and end up neglecting themselves. Your mental and physical health is also essential in caring for seniors. That’s why it’s prudent to take a break and rest from work. The holidays present fun activities you can engage in to reduce stress, foggy thinking, and fatigue. If resting for you means reading a book with a mug of coffee all day, take time to do it. Get plenty of sleep and relax in some holiday-scented aromatherapy to boost your mood.
Go on a Spa Day
Taking care of yourself may mean taking a spa day to refresh your body and mind. You probably spend most of your days giving spa treatments to seniors. The holiday is the best time to treat yourself to a spa day as you rest and relax. This can help reduce the anxiety that comes with taking care of a senior.
Watch a Silly Holiday Movie
Laughter is therapy. Choose an imperfect, goofy movie that will keep you smiling and laughing throughout to be part of your celebration. Great movies like the National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and Elf are excellent examples to go for. You can plan to watch these movies with a partner, friend, or family member at home or the theater. A two-hour or one-hour movie can help you forget your stress and have fun.
Have An Ugly Sweater Party With Friends
Another great stress-relieving activity you could try this holiday is arranging a party where everyone wears an ugly sweater. This can be an excellent holiday idea as everyone is in a celebration mood. You can do it with friends or family members. If you’re struggling with a family who doesn’t invite you or your senior to their holiday gatherings, you could plan your own fun parties where people can laugh and have a great time together with the senior.
Bake with Family
If you’re a baking enthusiast, the holidays are the best times to try new recipes that your older adult can try. You can even bake together as a family or with your senior to make the activity more fun. This helps strengthen your bond with the senior, especially if you’re there to provide companionship.
If family members offer a helping hand, accept their offer and let them do it without interference. If you work as a live-in caregiver in Miami-Dade, you probably don’t have much resting time, which can easily affect your physical and mental health. You’re also likely to feel fatigued during the holiday season. The senior’s family will likely visit and offer to take care of the senior so you can rest and take a break. If they offer, accept, and go out, get that mental break.
Are You Looking for a Caregiver in Miami-Dade?
If you have been diligently taking care of a senior loved one and need some help this holiday, reach out to Advancare to hire a caregiver to continue from where we started. Our caregivers offer professional and compassionate care to ensure seniors are happy, healthy, and comfortable. Contact us today.
The summer season is an excellent time for senior adults to spend most of their time outdoors with families. Taking a few trips to the beach, playing baseball games, inviting friends over for a barbecue and other outdoor activities can benefit a senior’s mental and physical health. However, with fun comes the risk of sunburns or sun poisoning. Learn how to choose a safe sunscreen for seniors.
Seniors with fragile skin need safe sunscreen to protect them from harmful UV rays. If you’re preparing to spend most of your time out in the sun, Advancare recommends carrying a bottle of sunscreen and applying after every three hours or as necessary. If you have a caregiver taking you around, they can pack the sunscreen and help you apply it throughout the day to protect your skin from sunburns.
Sunscreen Tips for Seniors
According to the CDC, less than half of older adults protect their skin after being outside for more than an hour on a sunny day which increases the risk of developing skin cancer. Sunscreen can be a reliable product if used properly. That means you need to know how to use it effectively to get the most out of it. Here are a few tips to guide you.
Choose a Sunscreen for Seniors With Broad-Spectrum Protection
The sun emits UVB and UVA rays. The UVB rays cause sunburn, while the UVA rays are responsible for premature aging. Broad-spectrum sunscreens protect you from both types of UV rays.
Use a Sunscreen With SPF 30 or Higher
The Skin Protection Factor (SPF) is the number indicating the ability to block UVB rays. The most recommended type is sunscreen with an SPF of 30 and above.
Apply Generously and Regularly
It may seem tedious to keep applying sunscreen on your skin every few hours. However, if you plan to be out for more than an hour, it’s essential to carry your sunscreen with you. Our caregivers at Advancare can help you keep up with this routine to protect your skin from sunburn or further damage.
Use Different Sunscreen Formats
While they all have the same purpose, using creams, sprays, gels, lotions can help you apply faster, especially if you’re in the sun for too long. Sprays and creams can cover larger surface areas and hard-to-reach areas such as the legs, back and arms.
Follow the Directions on the Bottle
The sunscreen producers often recommend generous applications for the best results. It’s essential to follow these instructions for maximum protection.
The Facts About Skin Health
Here are a few facts about skin health we thought you should know:
- Staying in the shade and covering your skin from head to toe offer the best protection from UV rays.
- Water-resistant doesn’t always mean waterproof. The FDA recommends applying sunscreen every two hours if you’re swimming or sweating.
- Your skin is home to more than 1,000 species of bacteria.
- Severely damaged skin can try to heal itself by forming scar tissue which is different from normal skin tissue as it lacks sweat glands and hair.
- Changes in your skin health signal changes in your overall health.
Need Home Care Services? Talk To Us!
At Advancare, we understand that handling certain activities like bathing, grooming or simply applying sunscreen on your skin before heading out this summer can take a toll on your body. That’s why we ensure that you find reliable, qualified, compassionate and caring caregivers to help you stay safe, healthy and happy. Contact us to learn more about our services.
While the summer brings warmth and bloom, the heat can be dangerous. Too much heat is not safe for anyone, and it’s even riskier for seniors or people with health complications. As a senior adult or caregiver, it’s important to be proactive and take precautions to avoid exposing yourself or your older adult to excessive heat. Exposing your skin to the sun can cause sunburn or lead to the development of skin cancer. At Advancare, we recommend seeking help if you’re having difficulty coping with the hot weather. Our caregivers can help provide preventive care and get you the help you need to stay healthy, productive, and happy.
Why Does Heat Affect the Elderly More?
The elderly are more vulnerable to heat for many reasons. Here are some of them:
- Senior adults sweat less, which means they have difficulty cooling their bodies.
- Most seniors have underlying health conditions that make them more vulnerable to heat damage.
- Some medications they take can impact their fluid intake and cause dehydration.
- Seniors are not likely to hydrate as they lack the urge to drink.
- Seniors who struggle with memory loss may not remember to drink water.
Heat Safety for Senior Citizens in Miami
Here are a few tips to help your senior loved one stay safe in the hot weather.
This may sound too obvious, but unfortunately, many senior adults don’t take as much water as their bodies need. That means they are at a higher risk of dehydration. Seniors with Dementia may not be able to communicate their dehydration symptoms clearly, which can be dangerous for their health. Staying hydrated means taking plenty of water and liquids such as vegetable and fruit juices, milk, and soups.
Eat Refreshing and Hydrating Foods
A healthy diet is essential for the overall health of a senior adult. Make sure they eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Purchase fruits and vegetables in season and maximize using them in fresh juices, salads, puddings, and snack recipes. Fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, mangoes, cherries, and watermelons provide the body with plenty of fluids and nutrients.
Wear Light Clothes
Natural fabrics like cotton are excellent materials for summer wear as they absorb sweat, keeping your body cool and dry. Choose bright colors such as whites to reflect heat and wear sunscreen when wearing shorts, t-shirts, and other wearables that expose your skin. Choose loose, light clothes to keep your body cool.
Use Fans If No Air-Conditioning is Available
The indoors can be particularly hot during the summer. To keep the indoor spaces cooler, use an air conditioner. If you don’t have or prefer to turn it on at specific times to save on energy bills, use fans to rotate the air and keep yourself cool. There are many ways of keeping your indoor space cooler, such as closing the windows during the day, cooking outside, using light-colored curtains, and many others.
Exercise With Caution
Avoid exercising or doing activities outdoors when it is hot. If you want to work in the garden, exercise, take your dog for a walk or clean your driveway, do them early in the morning or late in the evening. This way, you can keep the harmful rays of the sun off your skin and enjoy working at a relatively comfortable temperature.
Need in-home care services in Miami Dade County? Advancare can help you find reliable, compassionate, and experienced caregivers for your homecare needs. To learn how we can help, feel free to contact us!
Keeping older adults and other vulnerable populations safe during the tough COVID times can be daunting and stressful. Apart from the deadly virus, you have to worry about their mental health, which can easily be affected when they drift into social isolation. That’s why you need to know how to protect and keep them safe, healthy, and safe.
One of the best ways you can do this is by getting a caregiver to help them in their daily tasks and activities. If you live in Miami-Dade or the surrounding areas, you can reach out to us at Advancare for highly skilled caregivers with experience to handle your seniors with care, compassion, and respect.
Ways Caregivers Can Help Seniors Stay Safe
Thankfully, there is so much you can do to keep your senior safe and comfortable. If you don’t have family members to take care of them, you can always seek the help of a caregiver. Most seniors prefer to stay in their homes rather than live with family members. During the COVID period, it’s essential to have someone they can rely on to check and look after them. Caregivers can provide home care services for your senior adult, such as housekeeping, running errands, and taking them for doctor’s visits. Here are tips to keep them safe.
Each senior is different. Some require the help of caregivers; others prefer to be independent, while others prefer to keep to themselves. Planning ahead allows you to prepare by discussing with the senior about your options. If they prefer to live in their home,consider making a few changes in the home to provide more comfort, safety and security.
Communication is Key
Seniors can easily drift into social isolation, which increases the chances of developing Dementia and other age-related mental illnesses. The best way to keep them socially active is to ensure they have someone or people to interact with. Apart from staying in touch with them, you can get a caregiver to keep them company and ensure they’re safe.
Schedule Virtual Visits Whenever Possible
Technology today allows us to get in touch with families through video calls. Teach your senior adult how to set up a video call on their computer or smartphones. There are apps for seniors with hearing problems. Virtual visits such as Skype calls and facetime are excellent ways of connecting with your senior loved one during the pandemic while protecting them from COVID-19.
Find Activities that Keep Them Engaged
Physical activities such as walking, playing with pets, dancing, playing board games, reading, and watching their favorite shows are excellent ways to keep your senior loved one engaged. Such activities help eliminate boredom and improve the overall quality of life. Encourage your loved one to keep themselves busy at home while maintaining safety precautions. Let them try their favorite recipes, learn to play the piano, check their favorite songs and sing along or take those online art classes.
Remember the Importance of Preventative Care
Wearing a mask, maintaining social distance, and keeping their hands and surfaces clean can help prevent COVID and promote general health. Make sure they eat healthy foods, drink lots of water, get plenty of sunshine, bathe and groom and live in a clean environment.
If you need help doing all these, our caregivers at Advancare can help with these duties. We’re committed to providing compassionate in-home care services to families in Miami-Dade to help our clients stay as independent as possible. Call us today and make Advancare your home care agency of choice.
Board games can be particularly entertaining for both young and old people. They help keep your mind sharp and entertained in a meaningful way. That’s why Advancare encourages seniors to play games and interact with other people instead of isolating themselves. Board games allow you to start and build relationships, encourage, comfort, and start a conversation with other seniors, which reduces the development of stress, memory loss, depression, dementia, and other mental problems. A British Medical Journal Study reports that seniors who play board games are 15% less likely to develop dementia than non-players. Read on to learn other benefits of board games for seniors in Miami-Dade.
Why Seniors Love a Good Game Night
Whether you’re playing with your caregiver, children, grandchildren, or other seniors, you can still reap the benefits of these games. Many seniors find board games entertaining, particularly when they play with their loved ones. These games help them socialize, which significantly improves their health and relationships with other people. Below are the top benefits of board games.
Connect with Loved Ones
Games offer the best forms of entertainment, as all games are designed to be enjoyable. Seniors looking to pass time can play games as they spend quality time with their loved ones. Since each game requires the participation of other people, games indirectly encourage socialization with the people around you. They bring friends, children, and grandchildren together, eliminating the feelings of depression, loneliness, and isolation which are quite common among the elderly. You can also gather around other seniors and engage in meaningful conversations during the game, which can benefit your personal life.
Board games create more happiness and reduce stress. Playing together means having light moments with your loved ones, which helps relax the body and mind. Being happy lowers blood pressure and creates a stronger immune system. It also helps people who struggle with anxiety as the game provides adequate distraction with plenty of fun. As a result, board games reduce stress and improve calmness and focus.
Playing these games triggers the production of endorphins—the happy hormones—which help improve conscious and unconscious mind functions, leaving a person feeling compassionate, cheerful, and ultimately satisfied. A study that focused on the effects of Jigsaw puzzles on older adults found that the regulation of distressing emotions through Jigsaw puzzling can prevent chronic stress.
Board Games for Senior Keeps the Brain Active
Older adults require plenty of brain exercise as they grow to prevent mental health problems. Most games strengthen a player’s cognitive skills by stimulating the mind. You will experience an increased mental activity from memory to creativity. Remember, memory loss is a major concern as you grow older. Board games can help combat memory loss by improving cognitive skills. Working with letters, numbers, shapes, and words stimulates the brain and actively challenges it. In simpler terms, games help seniors to stay sharp.
Sometimes, even the simplest task, such as holding a cup of coffee using one hand, can be a problem when you grow older. Holding or shuffling cards can be an excellent way to exercise and strengthen coordination. Some games require participants to think fast and act quickly to win or stay in the game. This helps improve coordination and relaxation.
Get in Touch for Homecare Games and Fun
Are you struggling to live independently? Do you need some company to play board games with or someone to talk to? Advancare has a solution for you. Our highly trained caregivers can help you with everyday tasks, companionship, errands, and other activities to make your sunset years more comfortable. We’re committed to providing compassionate care for all Miami-Dade seniors. Please contact us today to schedule a free evaluation.
Meal planning makes life a whole lot easier as it helps eliminate the common boring phrase, “what shall we eat? Eating healthfully and maintaining an active lifestyle in Miami-Dade is an integral part of a senior’s life. It helps meet your nutritional needs and live a more independent life.
However, many seniors have a difficult time planning their meals. For some, even shopping for the ingredients can be a challenge. If this is your problem, Advancare has a solution for you. We provide home care services designed to help make your life easier and more comfortable. Our caregivers can help plan, cook, run errands and manage your medication.
Why is Meal Planning so Important?
Here are the main benefits of planning meals for seniors.
Provides Healthy Foods Full of Required Nutrients
As a rule, seniors need fewer calories than younger people. This is mainly because they are often less active. However, their bodies require certain minerals and vitamins in large amounts. At Advancare, we recommend preparing foods rich in calcium, vitamin D3, and B12. Meal planning helps you enjoy a wide variety of nutritious meals and different tastes every day.
Your taste buds will change during your older years, especially if you’re constantly on medication. Seniors who live alone can gradually lose appetite or lose interest in cooking or eating alone. A meal plan ensures that the ingredients are ready to prepare a meal that your senior will enjoy eating, which improves appetite.
Make it Easier to Create Attractive, Colorful Meals
When you have a plan, it is easier to play with colors, tastes, and aromas. Once you know what the older adult likes, you can try to work with different ingredients to create the same meal only in different styles that are healthy for them.
Caregivers have a lot of learning to do when preparing meals for seniors. A meal plan helps ensure meals are made on time with the right nutrients. Ideally, a healthy meal should include fruits, proteins, vegetables, low-fat dairy, and whole grains. You can also prepare these meals and freeze them in individual portions. This helps save time while also ensuring that the seniors have healthy foods with the right nutrients for their bodies. Planning also saves time and gas that you would have used making trips to the grocery stores.
Meal planning helps eliminate food wastage. When you create healthy, delicious meals, your seniors can take them in small portions for one or two days, which allows you to save money you would have used making fresh meals every day.
Meal Planning Tips for Seniors
If you’re a caregiver, creating a meal plan for your senior requires time, effort, and patience. You need to understand and adapt to their constant taste changes, prioritize vitamins and minerals, and know what the seniors like, and their special dietary requirements or medications while maintaining a specific budget. Here are a few quick tips that can help you create a meal plan for your senior:
- Plan in advance
- Prioritize proteins
- Find budget-friendly foods
- Go for smoothies and soups
- Keep calories in mind
- Stock up on cereals
- Consider the preparation time
Get in Touch With Caregivers that Provide Meal Plans in Miami
At Advancare, we care about you and your loved ones. That’s why we provide senior care solutions that match every senior’s needs. Our highly trained caregivers provide the support, care, and assistance your senior requires to live their normal daily life. Contact us to learn about our senior care services.
As a caregiver, one of the most important aspects of elderly care is ensuring they have proper nutrition. Good nutrition is vital to maintain their health and well-being. Unfortunately, loss of appetite is a common issue that caregivers face. Thankfully, there are things that you can do to help combat this frustrating issue, such as meal plans. For more information on meal planning for seniors and elderly care, contact Advancare.
What Causes Loss of Appetite in the Elderly
While it is not uncommon for appetites to change and decrease as one ages, there are several different types of conditions that can cause loss of appetite.
Conditions That Cause Loss of Appetite in the Elderly
There is an abundance of conditions and diseases that can cause loss of appetite in the elderly. The most common causes are:
- Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
- Thyroid disorders
- Kidney failure
- Gum disease
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- Throat and mouth infections
Because of the vast array of issues that cause decreased appetite, it is important the elderly patient sees a doctor when the loss of appetite first occurs. The geo: Miami-Dade doctor can rule out any potentially life-threatening issues that could cause the loss of appetite.
How to Combat Loss of Appetite
While it can be discouraging when your elderly loved one starts to experience loss of appetite, it doesn’t have to reduce the quality of their life. There are several tips and tricks that you can implement to ensure they are receiving proper nutrition even with a decreased appetite.
- Set a regular schedule. Having a regular schedule for all meals and snacks helps to regulate their body to eat at those predetermined times. This is especially important for those whose body cannot feel hunger.
- Provide smaller portions filled with an abundance of food. Seeing a lot of food on their plate can overwhelm some elderly patients. Instead, try switching to smaller portions (such as 5 smaller meals instead of 3 larger ones). Just make sure to have nutritious foods with an increase in healthy calories.
- Serve foods they can eat with their hands. Many elderly patients have difficulty using utensils, which can lead to frustration and cause them to not want to eat. Offering “finger foods”, such as fish sticks, chicken nuggets, chicken strips, and raw vegetables, can make their meal experience less stressful.
- Make smoothies and milkshakes. For patients that have difficulty chewing, smoothies and milkshakes could be a game changer. Healthy smoothies filled with spinach, fresh fruit and vegetables, and yogurt, are a good option, as are soups enhanced with pureed meat. Avoid this suggestion for patients who have difficulty swallowing.
- Healthy and easy-to-consume snacks. Some elderly patients prefer to graze throughout the day instead of sitting down for bigger meals. Having healthy and easy-to-consume snacks lets them eat when they are hungry. Some options include string cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, diced fresh fruit and vegetables, and crackers with cheese or peanut butter.
- Keep a food log. Making notes of what foods they eat and what foods they avoid will help you find the right tricks to keep their nutrition up even when it seems like their appetite is decreasing.
Getting Help from Professionals
If you’re feeling overwhelmed trying to combat loss of appetite in your elderly loved one, we are here to help. Our Miami-Dade caregivers provide meal planning and preparation to help lessen the burden on you while providing high quality and nutritious foods for the patient. For more information about the elderly care services we offer, reach out to Advancare today.