For one reason or another, your dad seems to be giving up on eating well. He's relying more on takeout or fast food. He has frozen pizzas all the time, and you're worried about his health. How do you and his home care aides get him to follow the guidelines his doctor offered about focusing on fresh produce, whole grains, and calcium-rich dairy?
Talk About Shopping
As you age, it gets harder to read the fine print on food labels. Your dad's doctor asked him to watch his sodium intake. He'll struggle to choose items with no added salt or low enough counts if he can't read a label. It's time to discuss having someone tag along on his grocery shopping trips and read the labels for him.
Your dad should also learn how to stick to his budget while also choosing quality ingredients. Dried beans contain many essential nutrients, and they're affordable. His family caregiver or home care aide can help him make these decisions.
Create Meal Plans in Advance
You ask your dad what he wants to eat all week. He asks for foods that he's not supposed to eat anymore. He wants a sausage pizza, burger and fries, macaroni and cheese, and ramen.
With each of these, he can have them with a few alternations. Instead of a traditional pizza crust, make pizza dough with whole grain flour or make a cauliflower crust. For the burger and fries, make a turkey burger and make baked sweet potato fries. Make ramen from scratch.
If you come up with healthier takes on his favorite meals, he still gets the meals he wants. He's just enjoying a different spin on them. Make up the weekly meal plan and create the shopping list from that plan. It makes it easier to cook the meals when ingredients are available and thawed.
Research Meal Preparation and Home Care Services
Your dad may need someone to cook for him. If he struggles to chop, slice, dice, and mince ingredients due to arthritis pain or medication side effects, it helps to have someone else make his meals and snacks.
Ask him why he's relying on takeout, fast food, and frozen meals. Once you better understand his frustrations with meals, you'll know where he needs help. He wants someone to read the recipe and help him follow the steps. He might need a caregiver to do the prep and let him do the cooking.
Once you have discussed having someone cook your dad's meals and prepare his snacks, come up with a list of questions everyone in the family has. Once you've jotted down those questions or concerns, call our home care agency to ask them. You'll learn more about pricing, services, and more as you talk to the home care specialist.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care Services in Wilmette IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.