A balanced, nutritious diet is fundamental to wellbeing, and could not be more true for the elderly. Particularly when there is already a health condition to deal with, but also in perfectly healthy seniors, the body is sensitive to nutrition and requires more diet support.
The problem with eating healthy is that it is time consuming. It requires going out shopping for fresh ingredients before spending time in the kitchen actually cooking them. For elderly with reduced mobility, this is a major barrier and often results in seniors ordering easy or processed food that will keep longer. Alternatively, seniors who live alone tend to stop cooking because without a family to feed, they simply don’t find the motivation to cook for one.
There are an abundance of services and solutions to explore so that any senior can live independently, and still benefit from a nutritious diet:
- Batch cooking. This involves shopping once a week (or whatever preferred intervals), and cooking large quantities at one time. For example, cooking a large casserole that will keep in the fridge for a week, or cooking a large cauldron of sauce that can go in the freezer and be reheated as needed.
- Online grocery shopping. Most grocery retailers offer delivery services, free of charge. This does require access to internet (or someone willing to place the order), but saves the individual needing to make a trip out if they have mobility/access issues, or the weather is bad.
- Meal delivery services. There are an abundance of businesses offering ‘meals on wheels’ type services, check your local area for some that value nutritious cooking.
- Embrace the freezer. Whether the food has been cooked elsewhere or at home, use plastic containers with date labels and stock the freezer with healthy meals that your senior loved one will definitely enjoy. This way, if there is ever a ‘rainy day’ (probably literally on the west coast!), they will still manage to find healthy meals. The name of the game is to be proactive!