With summer weather on the horizon, it’s important for family caregivers to remember that their aging loved one may have different food and nutrition needs during that time. Hot weather can lead to an increased risk for dehydration and it can also decrease their appetite. Elderly adults can earn really benefit from family caregivers that look out for their nutritional needs in the summer.
Hot Weather Decreases the Appetite
Many elderly adults simply don’t feel like eating during the summer. When they are hot and physically uncomfortable, the last thing they want to do is eat. However, when the body doesn’t get the nutrients it needs, it won’t run efficiently, and the person won’t have much energy or fuel to stay healthy. Family caregivers and senior care providers that prepare meals and snacks for the elderly should choose nutrient-dense foods or those that have plenty of nutrition in every bite.
Dehydration is Common in Summer
Elderly adults are at a higher risk for dehydration than other adults. They don’t retain as much body fluid and their kidneys are not as efficient, nor can they regulate their internal body temperature as well as when they were younger. In seniors, dehydration can lead to serious health issues, so family caregivers need to implement creative ways for their aging loved ones to stay hydrated. Many seniors carry water bottles always, drinking throughout the day. Tea, flavored water and juice are also good ways for the elderly to get the right amount of fluids.
Fruits and Vegetables for Better Health
Another tip for family caregivers to help their elderly loved one meet their summer nutritional needs is to serve fruits and vegetables. With fruits and vegetables, seniors get the nutrients and fiber to help with everything from good nutrition to digestion. In the summer, it’s especially helpful for them to eat fruits and vegetables with high water content, like celery, watermelon, grapes, oranges, cucumbers, and lettuce.
Cold Food is More Appetizing
Hot food during the hot summer months may turn seniors off meals entirely. However, if family caregivers serve appealing cold food they may be able to entice them to eat regularly. Ideas include sandwiches, cheese and crackers, salads, and wraps. It’s also preferable for some seniors to eat earlier when it is cooler.
In-Home Care Meal Planning and Preparation
If aging relatives struggle with good food choices during the summer or any time of year, family caregivers can think about hiring a home care provider to help. The home care provider can include meal planning and preparation as part of their duties. The elderly person can count on nutritious meals from the home care provider that will meet their health needs when the weather heats up. Meal planning can be incorporated into a home care provider’s other duties, such as ambulatory assistance, light housework, transportation to appointments and other activities, companionship and more.
For certain elderly adults, it’s a real challenge to get them to eat properly. The slightest obstacles can turn them away from healthy meals and plenty of fluids. Family caregivers can implement certain strategies to make sure the hot summer months are not one of those obstacles to good nutrition.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Huntley, MT, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY HomeCare today at 406-839-2390.