Caregiver in Fairmont MN
As a family caregiver for your aging parent, one of your most important focuses is making sure that your elderly loved one gets the nutrition and hydration that they need to keep their body healthy and strong. Unfortunately, many seniors do not eat the proper diet or consume enough fluids to support their body’s proper functioning. Often to blame for this is suppressed appetite and thirst signals. These are common issues for elderly adults and can become especially pressing during the summer months when hot temperatures make it likely that your parent will not feel hungry. It is even more important at this time than at any other during year to focus on what your parent consumes to combat dehydration and malnutrition so that they can enjoy the summer months as healthy and safe as possible.
Use these tips to help making combating dehydration and limited appetite a part of your summertime caregiver journey:
- Graze. Hot weather and humidity is enough to make anyone feel a little sick at the thought of eating a large meal. If this is the case for your parent, do not feel the need to push large meals. There is no rule that says that people need to eat three meals a day in order to be healthy, and in fact many doctors tout the benefits of breaking those large meals up into smaller mini-meals and spreading them throughout the day. This technique can help your parent to get the calories that they need as well as other nutrients without seeming overwhelming. One or two servings of foods every hour to hour and a half is perfectly fine and gives you the chance to vary what your parent is eating.
- Think cool. Go for food options that are cool, light, and refreshing. Your parent is much more likely to eat a slice of watermelon, for example, than a bowl of soup. This is a great way to encourage nutrition while still feeling like your parent is getting a summer treat. For instance, rather than reaching for a sugary ice pop, make homemade versions using whole fruit, Greek yogurt, and fruit juice. These are cooling and delicious but offer far better nutrition.
- Hydrate first. The human body can deal without food for much longer than it can deal without hydration, especially in the heat. When you are encouraging your parent to consume something, always go for hydration first. Many people who deal with suppressed appetites during the summer months are still willing to drink plenty and this will help the body to stay properly hydrated, avoiding serious complications.
- Sneak nutrition. Your parent does not have to be drinking plain water for it to be considered hydration. Look for ways that you can encourage your parent to drink more while also getting in needed nutrition. Smoothies, for example, are exceptional vehicles for nutrition for seniors who are having difficulty eating. Combine frozen fruit, ice, Greek yogurt, protein powder with greens, fruit juice, and fiber powder in a blender for a cool, tasty drink that will hydrate the body while also giving it calories, protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
If you or someone you know needs caregiver services in Fairmont, MN, contact Prairie River Home Care. We provide quality and affordable home care services for many fragile or senior members in the communities we serve. Call us at (888) 660-5772 for more information.
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