A large number of children taking care of their aging parent, or elderly parents, do not imagine themselves as caregivers. They simply consider themselves as taking care of their parents.
A caregiver is identified as someone who gives aid for another person who may not be able to live on their own resulting from medical, psychological, economic, as well as emotional limitations.
Reports differ, but approximately 80% of all caregiver providers in the U.S. are provided by members of the family. This adds up to nearly 50 million people, and just about a third of every U.S. household has an unpaid caregiver attending to the needs associated with an older parent in some capacity. 86% of caregivers are relatives, and 66% are usually female. The average family caregiver can assume this obligation for an estimated nine years.
While there are various jobs and commitments a family caretaker will expect, 65% of all services involve cooking, and 40% are maintaining special nutritional diets. 75% of family caregivers state food shopping is often a standard part of their responsibility.
Senior citizens make up the greatest proportion of people in the community who need diabetic meals, low sodium meals, and heart healthy meal plans. Planning meals ahead of time for parents is often a considerable task by itself. Having to prepare elderly meals for special diets, calls for further knowledge with respect to both food shopping, and cooking.
Family Caretakers who live close by can have a less difficult go associated with cooking food and looking after their aging parents compared to those living a greater distance away, or even in another state. With the busy routines of employment as well as rearing their own families, it is no surprise 40% of family caregivers feel looking after a mother or father, or parents, can be a burden. 32% say it is an excessive responsibility and causes emotional tension, but when it comes to looking after an aging member of the family, it is often a labor of love.
Meals for the Elderly
Providing proper nourishment for an aging parent, or parents, is usually the most regular, and time intensive chores a family caregiver can provide. Having prepared meals delivered, in some quantity, is usually a potential choice that assists both the family caregiver and the parent.
Choices can be as simple as one evening meal each day, to a comprehensive menu of breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Many organizations that offer ready to use meals send their meals frozen and can easily be warmed in a microwave.
DineWise is a national meal delivery service that delivers frozen senior meals nationwide. They have a huge choice of meals, and provide nutritional selections for those with diabetic, weight loss, and low sodium requirements. Regular food deliveries may be scheduled for just about any time period, as well as any budget. DineWise gourmet meals average $12 per meal.
Home Bistro is another favorite for delivered senior meals. They were purchased by DineWise, and to their credit, kept the original Home Bistro menu. Home Bistro offers sous vide meals that can reteat on the stove top or in the microwave. A great choice for gourmet dining without nutritional requirements.
HomeStyle Direct is a service that accepts medicaid for residents who live in Idaho, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, Utah, or Wyoming. Their menu has considerably fewer assortments, and does not meet the needs of special nutritional diet programs, but they do provide a lower cost alternative. Their everyday meals will cost around $6 each. HomeStyle Direct requires a $50 minimum order before shipping.
Meals On Wheels is a local program which provides hot meals to homebound senior citizens, commonly over 60 years old. Rules, qualifying criteria, and pricing, in the form of contributions, varies according to the county you live in. The service will not be available nationwide. These organizations are usually financed by charitable efforts and local governments. Use the link above to find a Meals on Wheels location near you.
National prepared meal delivery services provide family caretakers the opportunity to lessen stress and lower the burden of looking after an aging parent, or parents. In addition, they offer a benefit to the elderly because they are simple to reheat, and enable elderly people a feeling of remaining self-sufficient.
Senior meals can be bought in almost any volume, and optionally booked for regular shipping and delivery dates. Having precooked meals on hand also offers a benefit for family caregivers in instances where they go away, or are unable to attend for their parent, or parents.
Nutritional Requirements for Seniors
Many senior meals do not contain the nutrient requirements because they are not aware of the changing nutritional considerations as they age. When we get older and we just keep eating the same food that we have been for years we can start to harm our bodies. Many people need more or less of certain vitamins, minerals, or some macronutrients. It is important that senior meals include very nutrient dense foods. This will ensure that they receive nutrition from natural sources, unlike artificial nutritents found in some vitamins.
Meals for the Elderly
Meals for Senior Citizens
Senior Meal Delivery
Elderly Meals Delivered
According to the USDA MyPlate Plan, the plate should be half filled with fruits and vegetables, and half with whole grains. Be weary of prepared soups and frozen meals. This will keep the senior from aggravating any blood pressure issues they could have.
Grains on the plate should total 7 to 8 ounces
Protein should total 6 ounces of meats
5 servings of beans or nuts.
2 to 3 cups of milk
2 to 2-2.5 cups of veggies
2 to 2.5 cups of fruit.
Keep oils at no more than 2 tsps. Nuts, avacados, and fatty fish are a great way to get healthy fats and oils into the diet. Also not to be forgotten are fiber rich foods, which will prevent any constipation. Whole grains often contain enough fiber if the serving recommendations are adhered to throughout the day.
Eggs and lean meats are great sources of protein which cannot be neglected. Dairy products are great because they keep bones strong with the calcium. Many milk companies are including vitamin D in their milk to help strengthen bones. Senior meal delivery is a great way to ensure that all of these criteria are met at the highest convenience.
Nutrients in their natural state is always easier for the body to process than a natural nutrient that is stripped of all other nutrients and taken in isolation. The more nutrient dense a meal is, the less of it you have to eat. This is an important fact for senior citizens because their bodies don't burn as many calories as they did when they were younger.
This is due to a slowing metabolism which happens in part from a lack of muscle mass. Exercise should never be neglected, to help counterbalance this decline in metabolism.
It also allows for an increase in calorie consumption to replenish the energy spent during exercise. Meals for senior citizens should be plentiful in water.
This doesn't mean drinking a big glass of water with each meal. The way to do this is include plenty of fruits. Fruits contain mostly water; important because the aged don't make as much digestive fluids necessary for optimal digestion. This can cause a lacking in water soluble vitamins like B6, B12, and Folic Acid. Elderly citizens tend to get dehydrated easily, therefore remembering to replenish fluids and electrolytes are essential for maintain a healthy condition.
Depending on what medications may be prescribed to the senior, appetite might be affected. Either a decreased appetite, or stomach discomfort when eating, can cause poor nutrition. Making sure that meals for senior citizens are plentiful with spices and strong flavors will prevent them from compensating for what they perceive to be bland food by adding too much salt, which is dangerous if done regularly due to unhealthy increases in sodium levels.
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