Various studies have found that malnutrition affects as many as 7 out of 10 older adults. It’s hard to narrow down exact percentages as where someone lives (home or assisted living), access to transportation, and cost of living all play a part. Not every senior goes to the doctor or hospital if there isn’t enough food in the home and that’s another factor.
In a Pennsylvania study of more than 3,000 older adults, just under six percent were found to be suffering from malnutrition. Weight loss and weight gain can both be signs of malnutrition. Weight gain can happen if a person turns to fast food and less healthy options like pizza and takeout Chinese. It can also happen if cookies, chips, and high-fat frozen dinners are eaten multiple times per day.
Does your dad eat enough? Is he making healthy food choices? If you’re not sure, it’s time to ask questions. See if he needs help buying groceries and making healthy meals and snacks.
Ask Him What He’s Had to Eat
Ask your dad what he’s had to eat. If he won’t answer, you might be able to tell based on dishes you see in the sink and foods you find in his kitchen. If he’s relying a lot on frozen dinners and canned foods, he may not be eating as well as he should. If the cupboards, refrigerator, and freezer are empty, it’s a good sign he’s not eating well.
Spend a Day With Him
Spend a day with your dad. What does he do for meals and snacks? Does he not eat anything unless you make something and offer it to him? If you do make him a meal, does he skip the healthier items and only eat certain items from the plate?
Take Him Grocery Shopping
Offer to take your dad shopping. Pay attention to what he puts in the cart. If he buys multiple packages of cookies and skips fruit and vegetables, there is an issue you should address.
Home Care Can Solve Problems With Healthy Meals
You’ve noticed that your dad eats well if someone else plans and makes meals for him. That’s a clear sign that home care will help. With home care aides, he can tell his caregivers what he likes to eat and they’ll prepare and cook those meals for him. Call a home care agency to make arrangements for grocery shopping assistance and meal preparation services.
If you or someone you know needs help with Home Care in Comstock Park, MI, contact Gauthier Family Home Care. We provide quality and affordable home care services in our community. Call us at (616) 258-2300 for more information.