Weekly Tips & Insights

How Caregivers Can Keep Their Aging Loved Ones Nourished

Updated: Jan 6



About 8 million seniors in America face the threat of malnutrition due to a variety of reasons like medical conditions, depression, poverty and isolation - even if they have a caregiver. But if aging individuals don’t receive the proper nutrition they need, serious diseases and other health conditions can be exacerbated.

Although caregivers may already be aware of the important role nutrition plays into their elderly loved one’s health, preparing multiple nutritious meals a day can seem overwhelming and unrealistic- especially when dealing with resistance from the person their trying to feed. Things like waning appetite, gastrointestinal, throat or dental issues, nausea as a side effect of medication, or even dementia can make mealtimes with older or sick loved ones seem like an all-out war.

Fortunately, there are some strategies to help make mealtimes a little easier for aging loved ones, so that caregivers ensure they maintain a healthy diet.


Stay Hydrated

It’s important for seniors to drink a lot of water to avoid dehydration. Don’t forget to serve water with every meal and fill a water bottle and keep it around your older loved one so they can sip throughout the day.

Stay Hydrated

It’s important for seniors to drink a lot of water to avoid dehydration. Don’t forget to serve water with every meal and fill a water bottle and keep it around your older loved one so they can sip throughout the day.

Stay on Schedule

It’s known that appetite can dwindle with age, but some regularity in mealtimes can help combat this common occurrence. By serving food around the same time daily, a loved one’s body can become trained to eat.

Take Notes

Keeping a food journal for an older loved one can help caregivers keep track of what foods can upset their stomach, throw off their health, or that they simply do not like. Having a record of foods that work and don’t work make for successful mealtimes, and can be helpful input to share with their physician at future appointments.



Make It Social

To make eating more appealing for a senior with a waning appetite, invite other loved ones over for dinner or out to lunch. Creating social moments around eating can help your aging loved one to associate the activity with positive feelings and can make it more enjoyable for them.

Blend It Up

Sometimes the logistics of eating can be difficult or uncomfortable. Blending up meals when possible can save aging or sick individuals the trouble of fumbling with utensils or discomfort with chewing. Look for opportunities to puree foods into smoothies or shakes that include the necessary servings of fruits, veggies, grains, and other dietary needs specific to their condition.

Although it can take a lot of work to manage an aging loved one's diet, employing these methods can help you prepare for those challenges.


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