They say “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. This is an easy sentiment to get your head around, with regular meals and healthy ingredients being key to staving off sickness and bad health.
But what do you do when you have to plan meals for someone with short-term memory loss or dementia? How do you make sure your loved one is eating right when they regularly forget what day it is or where they live?
Join us today, as we take a closer look at this problem, and what you can do to make your meal planning more effective in the face of your loved one’s dementia.
Why A Balanced Diet Is Important
The things we eat and the way we eat them are the most underrated factors in our overall health. A regular, consistent diet that comprises various fruits, vegetables and healthy proteins
As people age, their bodies tend to throw up obstacles to their continued health. These are usually outside of their control, from flues to various infections. They’re impossible to foresee, making them impossible to plan for. Others, however, can be actively prevented.
Following a decent diet, elderly people can prevent potential illnesses. Keep in mind that it’s more difficult for an aging body to recover from an illness than it is for them to simply stay as healthy as possible to begin with. With balanced meals, you can do anything from actively reducing blood pressure and cholesterol to managing the blood sugar in someone with diabetes.
The Problem Of Meal Planning and Dementia
Even when elderly patients aren’t suffering from the effects of dementia, we tend to become more forgetful. And forgetting to eat might seem innocent to start with, but it can grow into something much more serious. Three days out of the week without a dinner can have a measurable impact on the number of vitamins you take in. Not getting enough protein because you forget to finish lunch every day can lead to weakened muscles over time.
This effect can be compounded in cases where seniors take prescriptions which they may also forget. If they don’t know they’re forgetting to take them, their illness will come as a big surprise to everybody. You might be left scrambling to see if their medication is to blame, as they become sick or simply stop getting better.
Is There A Solution?
Meal planning for someone who can’t remember the plan might seem like an impossible mission. But it’s a perfect opportunity for you to look into the benefits of an in-home caregiver for your loved one. One of the many jobs of these service providers is the preparation of daily meals according to a specific meal plan. Working with you, the family member, a caregiver is there to make sure your loved one eats when they’re meant to, what they’re meant to, and in the right amounts.
For more on these and other in-home caregiver services, visit Granny Nannies today and find out about our industry-leading care work.