Sometimes seniors suffer from malnutrition because they simply don’t want to make a meal for just one person. Often aging adults report that they suffer their loneliest feelings during meals because they eat alone and don’t have anyone to talk with during meal times. An easy way to ensure your loved one has proper meals and is keeping well-nourished is to make sure he or she isn’t eating alone.
People actually make healthier choices, providing themselves with better nutrition, when they eat in a social environment. When seniors eat meals alone, it may stimulate sadness, and even malnutrition, especially if many previous years had included eating meals with a companion that is no longer around.
When people eat in social environments, whether eating with just one other person or an entire family or group of friends, there may be a visible increase in physical and mental health. Social meal environments offer many benefits for loved ones:
People make healthier food selections when dining with someone else. They’re more likely to choose home cooked meals than ready-made meals.
Eating socially can decrease risk or symptoms of depression. Meal times are sometimes the most depressing part of an older adult’s day.
Stimulating conversation while enjoying a meal with at least one other person reduces feelings of loneliness among your loved ones and is good for brain health.
Social dining can lessen the risk of malnutrition or weight loss since seniors are more likely to indulge when they’re with others. Without a scheduled time to enjoy a meal with another person, someone may be tempted to skip a meal altogether.
You may find yourself worried about your loved one who has been eating alone when you can’t be there, however, Comfort Keepers® can help. Our in-home services will be able to provide your aging family member or friend with some companionship during mealtime, as well as help them to prepare healthy foods that they enjoy.
Is your loved one eating alone, or skipping meals just to avoid eating alone? Please let us help. Contact your local Comfort Keepers® today.
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