Caregivers in Old Town IL: Tips for Helping a Senior with Sensory Impairment Avoid Malnutrition
Experts estimate that there are more than 1 million aging adults throughout the United States who are suffering from consistent malnutrition, and that approximately 32 percent, or more than one-third, of adults in this age group are at risk of malnutrition. Despite common belief, this does not just occur in those who are in medical facilities. Instead, approximately 93 percent of these seniors live out in the community, most of them alone. As a family caregiver, it is vital to understand not just that your parent is at risk of this potentially serious health complication, but also what can increase this risk so that you can take the steps that you need to to protect your parent.
One risk factor that might increase the possibility that your parent could deal with malnutrition is sensory impairment. Utilization of the senses is an important part of the enjoyment of eating, and many people who no longer have the sharpness of their senses lose their appetites or do not eat a healthy, balanced diet and put their body at risk of complications.
Use these tips to help a senior with sensory impairment avoid malnutrition:
• Temperature is important when it comes to the enjoyment of food, both tactilely and in terms of flavor. Be sure to serve foods at the proper temperature.
• Boost flavors of food without adding excessive salt, which can lead to dehydration and other health problems. Try adding herbs, spices, and vinegars to foods to make them more appealing.
• Use plates and bowls that contrast with the tablecloth and with the food so that it is easier to see.
• Avoid burning candles or using other home fragrances in the dining area when your parent should be eating as these smells might be stronger and could compromise your parent’s appetite as well as their ability to taste and enjoy the food.
If you have noticed that your parent’s challenges and needs are more than what you can handle, or your own schedule or limitations have changed and made it more difficult for you to put forth the caregiver efforts that your parent needs and deserves, now may be the time for you to consider home care. A care provider can be with your aging parent on a customized schedule to fill any care gaps that exist and ensure that your parent is getting the care, support, and assistance that they need at all times. This can include a wide range of highly personalized services such as providing safe and reliable transportation so that they can do the things that they want and need to do without always relying on you, assistance with housekeeping, personal care support, and help with meal preparation. As a family caregiver this can give you peace of mind that your aging parent will be able to stay happy, healthy, comfortable, and happy as they age in place, both when you are able to be with them and when you are not.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED-ONE ARE CONSIDERING HIRING IN-HOME CAREGIVERS IN OLD TOWN, IL, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT BRIGHTSTAR CARE CHICAGO. CALL TODAY: 312.382.8888.
About Lenora Alabi, Branch Manager
Lenora Alabi graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Millikin University in Decatur, IL. Prior to joining the BrightStar Care team, Lenora taught pharmacy related courses as the Lead Instructor for the Pharmacy Technician Program at Everest College for six years, helping to prepare students for careers in pharmacy. She was also the Program Manager for the Massage Therapy Program at Everest.
Lenora joined the BrightStar Care Family in 2015 as a Customer Care Manager where she excelled and made a significant impact on customers and staff through her passion in delivering a higher standard of care. Lenora became Branch Manager in 2016 and she continues to exhibit that same passion by ensuring that the highest quality care is provided to all clients and families. She also works diligently to ensure that the BrightStar Care core values are a meaningful part of every activity. “The standards are impeccable, and BrightStar Care is a company that works endlessly to ensure that customers are receiving the best care possible.”