Whether your aging parent or loved one lives in San Jose, Palo Alto, Lamorinda or anywhere in the East Bay Area you may have noticed that he or she seems a bit undernourished or thinner than what you think is healthy. The fact is, you could be right. Many Bay Area seniors who live alone prefer to skip meals quite often, either because they don’t want to eat by themselves or it’s simply too much trouble to put together lunch or dinner for one person. What’s the solution?
While it may not be possible at every meal time, the best solution is for seniors to have someone to eat and enjoy conversation with. Meal time is the time of the day many seniors feel the most lonely of all, particularly if they have been used to eating with a partner or companion.
What can you do?
To ensure your aging loved one is eating, try to make sure someone is there to eat with him or her whether a family member, neighbor, friend from church, or even a caregiver who can also help in preparing meals that are healthy and nutritious. Being social is important for everyone’s health, especially seniors who are so often alone.
There are many benefits for seniors who have companionship at meal time. These include:
- Easing depression. Many seniors suffer from depression, and when meal time rolls around it becomes even more depressing when there is no one to share a meal with.
- Conversation is important for seniors, and most people engage in stimulating conversation when they’re enjoying lunch or dinner with others.
- When one or more people enjoy a meal together, it’s more likely to be a healthier, home cooked meal rather than a sandwich or pre-packaged frozen microwave dinner. This means healthier foods that provide the nutrition and calories seniors need.
As an adult child you can’t be there with your aging parent for every meal, but you can try to make sure someone shares meals with mom or dad whether it’s a sibling, older grandchild, or an in-home caregiver who helps with other tasks around the house, including meal preparation.
Socialization is critical to help prevent seniors from becoming malnourished and therefore less healthy. At Care Indeed, our Bay Area caregiving agency provides in-home caregivers for every need, whether for a few hours a day, overnight, or when you just need a break as a family caregiver. Our caregivers are caring, compassionate and dedicated to making seniors’ lives happier and more fulfilled. Give us a call today!