Community Blog

Meal Preparation for Seniors Promotes Well-Balanced Nutrition

By Debbie Humphrey

I’ve been doing a lot of reminiscing recently about holiday meals and Sunday suppers with family. When you think of family meals with grandparents or other senior relatives, what comes to mind? One of the first things I think of is the food. Strike that. I mean amazing food!

My maternal Grandmother worked outside the home and did not do much cooking. However, the paternal side of my family definitely knew their way around a kitchen! Ask any of us and you’ll find that Grandma was known for her tender, thin, delicate dumplings and juicy, flavorful fried chicken; while great Aunt Myrtle is always remembered fondly for her light and airy rolls – the very BEST I’ve EVER had – and her pies which were always to die for!

Now my mouth is watering.

I know those I mentioned don’t sound like healthy meal options, but when I was young, those delectables were accompanied by a bounty of home-canned vegetables that were standard fare for Sunday suppers and holiday meals.

Homemade food has always been important to older generations. After all, many were born during the Great Depression, or shortly thereafter, and there were not the onslaught of fast food and chain restaurants way back when. Families got meat, dairy and produce from local farmers and often shared with neighbors. 

In consideration that January is National Sunday Suppers Month, we should take time to reflect on our own experiences and continue creating new Sunday supper memories for the special seniors in our lives. That being said, I can't help but remember the seniors in Pasco and Pinellas counties who can no longer function in the kitchen, or prepare their own meals, much less host family Sunday suppers.

Arthritis, for example, can make it difficult to stand at the counter or sink without an ambulatory device; and opening cans and jars may be totally out of the question. Vision and hearing impairments pose further challenges, and illness and disease can leave seniors without appetites, energy, desire or ability to shop for nutritious food. A fast food drive-thru – if the senior is still able to drive – may be assessed as the only viable option.

Meal preparation for seniors promotes well-balanced nutrition and is a standard practice for the talented caregivers at Home Helpers®. Not only do they assist with grocery shopping for healthy foods, caregivers demonstrate their culinary skills by preparing delicious, nutritious breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and suppers for those unable to do for themselves.

Of course, diabetes, lactose intolerance, celiac, and other conditions and scenarios are definitely factors that impact shopping and meals. That’s why, for caregivers, they are the primary considerations.

One more thing I'd like to add is the necessity for seniors to drink plenty of water, especially in our warm Florida climate. Seniors don’t always feel thirsty, so it’s important that family members and caregivers encourage them to drink more water with meals and throughout the day. It can help to actually put a bottle or glass of water in their hand as a reminder to prevent dehydration.

Do you know a senior who could benefit from regular, healthy meals and Sunday suppers with the assistance of a compassionate caregiver who can shop for healthy food and prepare well-balanced, nutritious food? If so, I would welcome the opportunity to sit down for a FREE consultation with you and your loved one at your convenience. You are under no obligation to enlist our services, but it is a great opportunity to learn more about how a Home Helpers® caregiver can help!

Home Helpers® is honored to have received the Provider of Choice 2017 & 2018 awards from Home Care Pulse, and we proudly serve male and female seniors in Clearwater, Dunedin, Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor, Tarpon Springs, Holiday, New Port Richey, Trinity, Port Richey, Hudson and surrounding areas. Home Helpers®…Making Life Easier℠  727.942.2539