Senior Nutrition Advice for Family Caregivers From Our Senior Care Dietitian

Nutrition is one of the keys to good health at all ages. We hear that all the time but not always clear signals about what proper nutrition entails. Eating right is especially important for seniors, whose changing health and needs make it particularly important to eat the right foods in the right amounts each day.

We receive a number of questions about proper nutrition for senior loved ones from family caregivers who visit Senior Care Corner. While several of our posts address the dietary issues of older adults, we decided to address some of the questions directly by bringing in an expert.

We didn’t have to look far, as Kathy is a Licensed and Registered Dietitian (RD, LD) who has been working with seniors and their families in a number of settings for years and provides nutrition information on her own site, Nutrition for the Health of It. For the feature segment of this episode of the Senior Care Corner Show, we “invited” the Senior Care Dietitian for a conversation to answer some of the questions we’ve received.

Senior Nutrition Questions for the Senior Care Dietitian

  • Does healthy eating mean something different for seniors than for the rest of the family?
  • What do you tell family caregivers who are trying to get senior loved ones to eat better only to have them say something like “I’ve been eating this food for 70 years and I’m still alive so why change now”?
  • How would a family caregiver know if a senior loved one is supposed to be on a special diet so they know how to focus on the right foods and to avoid foods the senior shouldn’t be eating?
  • For family members whose older loved one is moving into a nursing home, is there anything they should say or ask to be sure the senior gets the right foods for their needs?
  • There are many seniors aging in place in their own homes who suddenly find themselves in the situation where the spouse or partner who did all the cooking is gone and they’re left to fend for themselves.  Do you have any suggestions for family caregivers who want to get the seniors who haven’t done much cooking started preparing their own meals?

Family Caregiver Nutrition Question

We talk a lot at Senior Care Corner about the need for family caregivers to care for their own needs to maintain their own health and be in a position to give their best to loved ones, so we added a question focused on caregiver needs.

There are many caregivers, such as those caring for both their parents and children, who find themselves rushing around all day and constantly drinking coffee or soft drinks to keep going. Are there other things they should be drinking, maybe to exchange or at least some of the coffee cups and cans of soda?

You’ll hear answers to all these questions in this Senior Care Corner Show.

News Items in This Episode

  • Irregular Heartbeat in Old Age Leads to Memory and Thinking Decline
  • For Your Fridge: Do Not Resuscitate Order
  • Alzheimer’s and Low Blood Sugar in Diabetes May Trigger a Vicious Cycle
  • Brainpower in the Very Old May be Improving

Our Quick Tip in this episode addresses keeping seniors safe from scams showing up at their homes, including the mailbox, front door and telephone.

Link Mentioned in This Episode

We hope you enjoy this episode of the Senior Care Corner Show and find it informative. Please keep the suggestions – and especially caregiver questions – coming!

Podcast Transcript – so you can follow along or read at your convenience