When your elderly family member isn’t eating well, that interferes with everything from her mood to her health. One big reason she might not be eating well could be that she’s facing distractions during mealtime. These ideas can help.
Re-evaluate Some Tableware
One of the reasons your senior might be getting distracted during meals is because the tableware may not fit her needs. She may have trouble drinking from glasses now, for instance, and that may take a lot of concentration. Utensils might be more difficult or even painful to use. Plates and bowls may not contain the food in the ways she needs, which can make them distracting for her. Swapping to lidded cups or using straws can help. Plate dividers or plates with raised dividers built in can also help.
Keep the Table for Food Only
If there’s a lot of stuff on the table during meals, and even between meals, then the table itself can be a distraction. It’s a good idea to reserve the table where your senior eats for food only. That might mean relocating some things and finding another solution for things like hobbies. If nothing else, when it’s time for a meal, clear the table entirely and make sure that there are only plates until the meal is over.
Food May Need Different Preparations
The food itself could be part of the distraction for your senior. Pay close attention to the foods that she’s more likely to eat compared to the foods that tend to be distracting for her. If spaghetti is something she used to eat by twirling it around her fork and that’s out of her mobility range right now, you may need to switch to a different type of pasta. Opting for more finger foods could be helpful, too, especially if your senior is having issues with utensils.
Get Some Extra Help
It’s also possible that you and your senior just need some extra help with this new normal she’s facing. Working with elder care providers is a great way for you to learn more about how to help your senior to eat well and more easily. It’s also a way to reduce frustration levels for your senior during meals, which is a huge distraction and may be doing more to keep her from eating well than you think.
Talk to your senior about what she finds distracting during meals. Whether her issues involve something small like the television being on or something else entirely, there are probably steps you can take that help.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED ONE IS CONSIDERING ELDERLY CARE IN SMITHFIELD, NC, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT SENIORS HELPING SENIORS TODAY. CALL (919) 761-5346.