As people age, so does their appetite. This is because the metabolism and activity levels slow down, meaning fewer calories are necessary. Poor food choices and skipping meals, however, are risky for the elderly. These can lead to undesired weight loss or worse, making them more prone to infections due to a weakened immune system. When placing your elderly loved one in a retirement community, it’s best to find those that don’t only offer good facilities. Their services should be reliable, as well.
Importance of Nutrition
Decreased tasting ability, medication side effects and changing appetites are only some factors you need to take note of when planning meals. If your elderly patients need special diets for diabetes, heart disease, and other medical conditions, you need to measure and know what ingredients to include or not. Their weight is also an important factor. If they’re underweight, you need to plan diets that will help them gain more pounds. If they’re obese, you’ll need a diet to help them slim down.
Serving Food to the Elderly
Retirement facilities have different ways in preparing food for their elderly patients. Twinlakescomm.org and other senior communities, for instance, have a restaurant-with-a-view and a cafeteria-style setting to help them enjoy meals. This also prevents the feelings of isolation, as everybody can interact.
Some have their own chefs who consult with nutritionists to create a menu according to the needs of their patients, and then deliver it to their place. Others go directly to their elderly patients and ask what they want. If doable, they will find a substitute for the ingredients if it’s bad for their health.
As you won’t be preparing the food that your elderly loved one will eat, it’s best to make sure that you choose a retirement facility that doesn’t only look good on the exterior. It has to take good care of their needs.