When it comes to growing older, there is one thing that people want to maintain above almost anything else: their independence. This can mean managing their own schedule, being able to mobilise unaided, or being able to prepare their own meals. While most of us are aware of how older people can maximise their ability to complete the first two of these independence-related tasks, managing a healthy diet and cooking schedule doesn’t quite get the same attention.
This is surprising, given that nutritional neglect is noteworthy in older people, and can pose as much of a risk to enjoyment of life as other independence-related areas. As people’s mobility begins to decline, cooking becomes a more and more stressful task. Issues such as arthritis make it very difficult to open packets and jars, and finely cutting or dicing meat and vegetables can become almost impossible. As a result, older people are likely to rely on convenience foods — which are not known for their nutritional value — or simply go without rather than subjecting themselves to the discomfort of cooking.
Unfortunately, statistics suggest that elderly people in the UK are not always able to find the nutrition that they require. Studies have found that up to 1.3 million elderly people are suffering from malnutrition, so solutions need to be found in order to address this concerning trend.
If you have experienced this issue personally — or believe that someone in your family is — then there are numerous ways to deal with the problem. While independence is much cherished, and rightly so, nutrition is a vital component of the overall health of a person. Fresh, healthy meals prepared from scratch is by far the best way to ensure your continued health, and if you can no longer prepare them for yourself, then it’s wise to seek options that allow you to obtain the food you need.
By far the most effective option to deal with this issue is a live-in carer. Live-in carers are able to offer numerous benefits in terms of nutritional needs, including — but not limited to — the following:
Do you have particular tastes? Only comfortable eating certain foods, prepared in a certain way? There’s no harm in that if you do— we all reserve the right to be selective about what we eat!
One of the major benefits of a live in carer is that they will become adept at preparing the food you want to eat, exactly as you want to eat it. There’s no need to worry about generalised food preparation as you might experience in a care home; food is prepared specifically for you, to meet your specifications.
If you, or your family member, still have a level of mobility, then a live-in carer can help to ensure you can still cook as much as possible. You are able to do whatever you can, safe in the knowledge that you can take a seat to rest if it becomes necessary. A live in carer works with you rather than telling you what to do, and they can take over the cooking duties or just assist you as you need.
We’ve focused on cooking up until now, but it is worth noting that another aspect of nutrition that older people may struggle with is buying food. Walking around a store can be too physically tasking, and even if groceries are delivered to a person’s door, they still have to be moved into cupboards and then subsequently cooked with. For many elderly people, all of this effort is simply not possible, but it is something that a live in carer can assist with. A carer can go shopping to find the items you want and then either assist you with cooking, or prepare the entire meal on your behalf— you have the freedom and flexibility to choose what works for you.
When you order food in from a takeaway, try convenience food, or even move into a care home, you’re never sure what you are going to be eating from day to day. A live in carer will be able to present the very best food to you, ensuring high nutritional quality in every bite, so you can enjoy your golden years as nourished as possible.
End the risks of nutritional neglect in elderly people by choosing a live in carer to assist with food shopping, preparation, and all related tasks. Whether considering such a move for yourself or a family member, choosing to introduce a live in carer is a decision you will always be glad you made. This is what Orchid Care specialises in. Not only will you be paired with a carer who is honest, has integrity and is committed to improving your life, but you’ll have someone to speak to and rely on to combat loneliness as well. You can have a professional live-in carer that understands you and treats you with dignity and respect. Call or contact us now for more information