Making Meal Preparation and Serving Simpler for Your Parents’ Home Care Provider this Holiday Season

By Robert D. Liken CPC, CTS, President

December 23, 2015

Home Care in Squirrel Hill PA

One of the most useful services that a home care provider can offer to your elderly loved ones is helping to prepare and serve meals that are healthy, delicious, and keep them at their best. Many Home-Care-Squirrel-Hill-PAseniors cope with diminished health and malnutrition because their sense of taste is not as acute, they may have physical challenges that make it too difficult for them to prepare their meals, or their cognitive difficulties such as symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia make it so that they do not understand the importance of eating, forget to eat, or can no longer plan and execute a healthy diet. By being there to help your parents make good food choices, prepare healthy meals, and even provide direct eating assistance, an in home health care services provider can dramatically improve your parents’ nutrition and keep both their physical and their mental health at a higher level.
Making meal preparation and serving simpler for your parents’ home care provider this holiday season helps ensure that your parents will get the nutrition that they need, but that their care provider can also utilize her time for other things such as going on more outings with your loved ones or doing more holiday-themed activities. These tips are also fantastic for if you hire a respite home care provider to help out during busy holiday season days, parties, or other events.
• Make a plan. Meal plans are a great way to simplify mealtimes for anyone that is preparing meals, but especially for a care provider who is not in the home at all times. A meal plan shows the types of groceries that are already in the house or that need to be purchased during a shopping trip, and eliminates questions about what to prepare. Take one day each week to plan out meals for your loved ones that take into consideration any dietary restrictions that they might have, groceries that are in the home, and any activities you have planned.
• Do some prep. Just because a home care provider can do some meal preparation for your seniors does not mean that she has to do all of it. Taking some time to do some of the preparation for the meals you have planned for your parents not only makes the entire process simpler for the care provider, but it also allows your seniors to get into the kitchen with them and get their minds active through the fun and excitement of cooking. Try chopping fresh vegetables to make snacks and salads easier, chopping and boiling squash for a soup, or even just organizing the refrigerator to put ingredients for meals together.
• Use compartmentalized plates. Visualizing healthy serving sizes for meals can be challenging when you are first getting used to it. Make this simpler by purchasing plates that are divided into compartments. Instruct the care provider to use the largest compartment to serve vegetables and the smaller two for protein and starches. This also helps to make seniors who are finicky about their foods touching more cooperative about eating.

If you or an aging loved one are considering home care services in Squirrel Hill, PA, please contact the friendly staff at Liken Home Care.  Call (412) 693-6820 or (855) 856-0551