Some of our strongest memories are linked to food. We think about the meals that our mothers and grandmothers prepared for us as children and what we ate on holidays. These foods provide comfort and make us feel at home. This doesn’t change as we age. Seniors still crave the flavors that they have loved their entire lives but may not have the strength or energy to prepare for themselves anymore.
If you have arranged live-in care for your aging loved one you can make sure that he still has the chance to eat his favorite foods by sharing recipes with is home care companion. Part of the responsibility of a home caregiver is light meal preparation. Often they will simply prepare the meals that they know how to prepare, or ask a senior what he would like. Seniors may not be able to effectively communicate the types of foods that they would really like to eat, or may not want to bother their caregiver by asking for something that they don’t feel their caregivers are familiar enough with to prepare.
By offering your loved one’s favorite recipes with his caregiver you are ensuring that he gets to enjoy the meals and snacks that are prepared for him, and that your caregiver will feel confident that she is preparing food that is both nutritionally and emotionally satisfying for the seniors. You can make sharing the recipes part of the early hiring process by providing a box of recipe cards already filled out with favorite options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts, and snacks. You could also continue to add recipes, especially for things like special occasions and holidays so that your loved one can celebrate with the foods that he remembers.
If you know that your aging loved one is especially particular about what he eats, which becomes very common as people age, you may want to consider planning menus at the beginning of each week. Print out these menus along with the coordinating recipes and put them with your caregivers To Do lists for each day, or offer them on the first day of the week that she is in the home so she has plenty of time to get familiar with the options.
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