Seniors & Nutrition
The Challenges Of Hunger And Under-Nutrition Among Canada’s Aging Population
At Comfort Keepers® our goal is to create solutions for seniors so that they can continue to live healthy, independent lives. That's why we are taking initiative to address senior nutrition challenges, which can include:
- malnutrition due to cognitive issues or appetite loss
- difficulty preparing meals
- finances (rising cost of food)
- accessibility of food, or inability to shop for oneself due to mobility issues.
Several of these challenges can be more difficult to resolve, but here are readily available solutions for a few.
Comfort Keepers is pleased to work in concert withThrifty Foods on the Semiahmoo Peninsula to promote the Sendial program for food shopping and delivery.Sendial is a free shopping and home delivery service designed for those in our community who are physically unable to shop for themselves.
Click this link www.thriftyfoods.com/EN/main/services/services-sendial.html to read more or to register someone you care about for this marvelous service.
More than 1 in 2 seniors in the care of others are at risk for under- or mal-nutrition (Mayo Clinic/American Dietetic Association). Detecting malnutrition in seniors may be difficult, and even seniors who eat enough may be eating the wrong foods to keep themselves healthy.
As a caregiver or family member, you need to be on the lookout for signs and symptoms of hunger or malnutrition in older adults. Here are some ways to monitor the nutrition of seniors in your care:
- Watch for physical problems such as poor wound healing, easy bruising and dental difficulties.
- Keep track of weight loss which may require purchasing a home scale or transporting to the doctor’s office for weight checks when the individual is unable to stand without assistance.
- Pay close attention to seniors’ eating habits and ask them to tell you where and when they eat, but don’t rely on self-reports alone. Since Comfort Keepers® often spend mealtimes with seniors at home, they may have a better idea of normal eating habits.
- Suggest family members visit during mealtimes which can improve a senior’s consumption. If a senior lives alone, make sure you know who is buying his or her food.
- Know what medications an older loved one takes and how often they can affect appetite and digestion. Use the resources available through your local retail pharmacist to check for drug nutrient interactions or possible side effects of prescribed medications.
- If there are medical questions regarding nutrition, medication and health Comfort Keepers® suggests seniors, their family members and other caregivers speak with doctors about tests that can help identify chronic malnutrition or other nutrition-related problems.
- You can help fight senior hunger and malnutrition by donating non-perishable food items to your local participating Comfort Keepers office. Click here to find your local office, and call for food collection dates.
To learn more about the issues of hunger and nutrition facing seniors, visit the Comfort Keepers blog. Click here >