The foods seniors eat can have a negative or positive effect on their emotional, physical, and mental health. Therefore, family caregivers need to ensure their aging loved ones eat a well-balanced diet full of the nutrients their bodies need to function normally. Here are some tips that can make meal prep easier for caregivers.
1. Develop a Schedule
It’s often difficult for family caregivers to plan and prepare meals when they come home from work or in between running errands. If it’s less hectic to cook meals during the day, devote this time to meal prep. Keep in mind meals can be made hours, or even a couple of days, ahead of time.
Consider hiring a professional caregiver if you need someone to prepare nutritious meals for your loved one. Senior home care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Lifestar Home Care are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
2. Use Cooking Devices
It takes less time to chop up vegetables and fruits using food processors and juicers than it does to chop them up by hand. Invest in food processors, electric mixers, and other cooking devices that reduce meal preparation time. In fact, you can chop up fruits and vegetables for the week and keep the items stored securely in the refrigerator.
3. Find Simple Meals
You don’t need to cook big, hearty meals each day. Instead, find simple meals to cook during the week that are easier to prepare. These simple meals can still provide your loved one with the nutrients and minerals he or she needs. If you spend a lot of time cooking fancy gourmet meals, you’ll have little time to complete other caregiving tasks.
Caring for a senior loved one can be rewarding, but it can also be overwhelming for family caregivers who have other responsibilities they need to focus on. For these families, the perfect solution is respite care. Oklahoma City families rely on our caregivers whenever they need time to rest, work, run errands, and even go on vacation.
4. Use Frozen Foods
Although most processed foods are bad for seniors, some frozen foods can be a healthy choice. Instead of taking the time to soak beans and boil them for hours, you can use frozen peas and beans. You can find plenty of convenient foods in the frozen section of the supermarket. Frozen vegetables are a healthy alternative that provide protein, calcium, vitamins, and other nutrients seniors need.
5. Make Extra Servings
If you make it a habit to cook multiple servings, you can cut down on the amount of time you spend on meal preparation for the week. For example, if your loved one enjoys vegetable stew, double up on the ingredients. When you’re done cooking the stew, you can store it in the freezer to warm up on another day. Having the food accessible may prevent your loved one from eating unhealthy meals and snacks.
6. Ask for Assistance
Encourage your loved one to help with meal prep as long as he or she is in good mental and physical shape. You should also ask siblings and other family members to cook a few meals for your loved one each week to free up some of your time.
Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of elder care. Oklahoma City families can rely on Lifestar Home Care to provide individualized care plans to meet their elderly loved ones’ unique care needs. Our caregivers help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and we offer mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. For reliable in-home care services, contact us at (405) 288-9275.