Weight loss is a sign that a senior may not be eating their meals or enough of the right foods. As your mother ages, there are many reasons why she may become malnourished. Sadly, malnourishment places your mom at risk for additional health problems such as falling due to dizziness or being unable to heal properly after an illness. While you should always check for a physical cause of malnourishment, it is possible that your mom has simply stopped preparing well-balanced meals for a specific reason, such as being depressed. When malnourishment is a concern, consider these three benefits that in-home care has for helping your loved one get the nutrition she needs to thrive.
1. Provide Assistance With Meal Planning and Prep
If you've ever come home from work too exhausted to cook, then you likely have an idea of what it is like to prepare meals in the senior years. On top of fatigue, your mom may face real challenges with preparing meals that make it easier just to eat an unhealthy snack. For example, your mom may struggle with arthritis and chopping up vegetables is painful. An in-home caregiver can help your mom with meal planning and food prep while also showing her tips that help her do some of the cooking independently.
2. Encourage Your Loved One to Eat More
Seniors who live alone may sometimes skip meals so that they don't have to face eating alone. Your mom may also just not see a point in cooking an entire meal when she no longer has her spouse to cook for. In some cases, your mom may have even forgotten to eat, which is common with memory loss. Your mom will be more likely to eat when a caregiver is present. Not only will she be motivated to sit down at the table when someone has helped her prepare a meal, but she'll also linger over her plate as she enjoys a conversation.
3. Identify Eating Challenges Early
The caregivers who visit your mother provide in-home care services that are designed to identify potential new problems so that they can be corrected before they lead to a health challenge. Your mom's new caregiver will provide lighthearted conversations during meals, but they are also constantly on the lookout for eating challenges that need further investigation. For example, a caregiver may notice that your mom struggles to chew her food, and this might be addressed with a visit to the dentist or by just cutting up food smaller. Identifying all of the potential reasons behind your mother's weight loss helps you put together a comprehensive plan to keep her properly nourished.