Sometimes seniors may suffer from malnutrition because they simply don’t want to make a meal just for one person. Often older people state that they have suffered their loneliest feelings during mealtimes when they must eat alone without anyone to talk to. Just by making sure your loved one isn’t eating alone, he or she will make better meal choices and keep better nourished.
People typically make the healthiest choices with foods that offer good nutrition, when they eat socially. When seniors eat meals alone, the situation often stimulates sadness and even malnutrition. Imagine how difficult it would be for anyone who had previously had many years of companionship during meals with someone who is no longer around.
As humans, we typically eat in social groups, whether dining with just one person or eating with a family or group of friends. There is a visible increase in physical and mental health when we eat in social environments. The many benefits for loved ones include:
People tend to choose wisely with food selections when they’re not alone. We’re all considerably more likely to select home cooked meals rather than ready-made meals.
Decrease risk or symptoms of depression by eating with others. Otherwise, meal times may be the most depressing part of an older person’s day.
Enjoying stimulating conversation while eating a meal with at least one other person can lessen feelings of loneliness among loved ones and is better for optimal brain health.
Social dining lessens the risk of weight loss or malnutrition because older adults are likely to indulge a little more when they’re with others. Seniors may be tempted to skip a meal altogether if they have no scheduled time to enjoy a meal with another person to look forward to.
Don’t be worried about your loved ones who eat alone when you’re not there. Just call Comfort Keepers® to help. Our in-home caregivers will provide your parent, aging family member, or friend with companionship during mealtimes, and the caregiver can help with preparation of nutritious foods to enjoy when they’re alone.
If your loved one is eating alone, or skipping meals in order to avoid eating alone, please let us help by contacting your local Comfort Keepers® today.
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