Family caregivers must focus on many tasks when providing care for an elderly loved one. One of the most important of these tasks is ensuring healthy meals and snacks are served each day. Here are just some of the reasons meal prep is such an important aspect of caregiving.
Prevents Nutritional Deficiencies
Many seniors fall into the habit of eating the exact same foods for every meal, which can result in nutritional deficiencies. Taking some time to actually plan each meal gives caregivers the ability to create a diverse diet plan with a wide variety of healthy foods. If deficiencies are discovered, minor adjustments can be made to the meals to ensure your loved one is getting the nutrients he or she needs.
Helps with Portion Control
One of the most common side effects of Alzheimer’s and other dementia-related disorders is irregular eating. While overeating can be a dangerous habit, failing to eat enough can often be just as harmful. Toronto live-in caregivers who prepare meals beforehand can have much more control over a senior’s exact caloric intake. Just as with nutritional deficiencies, minor adjustments can be made if your loved one gains or loses too much weight.
Reduces the Risk of Kitchen Catastrophes
Falls, cuts, and other household accidents can happen in any room, but they are especially common in the kitchen. Slippery floors, dull knives, and overhead cupboards are all serious safety risks for seniors with limited mobility and dexterity. Even if your loved one would like to help with some of the food prep, you or a respite caregiver in Toronto should be by his or her side at all times.
A structured daily meal routine can provide your loved one with a wide variety of benefits, including reduced anxiety, better sleep, and increased feelings of safety. Unfortunately, these routines won’t be helpful if you’re rushing to get meals done at the last minute when your loved one is hungry and his or her blood sugar is plummeting. Prepping the dishes beforehand means meals can be eaten at the same time every day.
Meal prep is just one important aspect of providing care for a senior loved one. If your loved one needs help with exercise, bathing, and medication reminders, the caregivers at Home Care Assistance can assist with these and other daily tasks. Learn more about the elderly care Toronto families rely on by calling one of our experienced Care Managers at (416) 488-8777 and scheduling a free in-home consultation.