Community Blog

How Can You Make Diet Changes Smoother for Your Parent?

By Vicki and Brian Day

Making major changes in your life can be daunting and stressful for anyone. For elderly adults, however, this can be particularly difficult. Not only do they have a lifetime of habits and routines behind them, but many seniors already feel as though their autonomy and control over their own lives is threatened by their need for care and assistance. Needing to make further changes can seem intimidating. Helping your parent to recognize the value of changes such as improving their diet, however, can help to motivate them to make better choices and enjoy a healthier and more fulfilling quality of life as they age in place.

Use these tips to help make changing your parent's diet smoother and easier for them:

  • Start with small changes such as cutting down on soda, sugary drinks, and alcohol. Replace these with water for the combined benefit of reducing sugar, calories, and additives, and boosting hydration.
  • Encourage your parent by celebrating the small changes that they make. Recognize that these changes are accomplishments and help them to feel a sense of achievement to keep them motivated.
  • Sit down and talk to their doctor about the changes that you should be making for your parent. Remember that while there are some basic guidelines that apply to most people when it comes to eating a healthy diet, these do not necessarily apply to all people, and it is extremely important to evaluate your parent's health and any conditions that they might be living with in order to ensure the dietary changes that you make for them are healthy and safe.
  • Rather than making the changes yourself or pushing these changes on your parent, make them an active part of it. Ask them to help you choose new recipes, to find new ingredients and healthy food options that they would like to try, and to help you with grocery shopping and meal preparation. Making them an active part of their dietary changes will Empower your parent and encourage them to stay motivated and comply to these changes so that they get the most benefit possible.

Starting senior care for your aging loved one can be one of the best decisions that you can make during the course of your caregiver journey with them. A senior home care services provider can be in the home with your parent on a fully customized schedule, meaning that they will have continued and reliable access to the support, care, assistance, and companionship that they need to manage their individual needs and challenges, as well as to support their quality of life. The highly personalized services that such a caregiver can provide will help your aging parent stay healthy, safe, happy, and comfortable, while also encouraging them to live a lifestyle that is as independent, active, and fulfilling as possible as they age in place.