Aging as we all know can not be avoided. From the time we were born, every hour of the day for everyday we grow older and older until such time we notice our bodily functions changes. Not only physically, mentally but also socially. Physically in a way our muscles and joints gradually weakens, our sense of sight, hearing, smelling and tasting also declines.
And one of the senses I would like to share with you is the SENSE OF TASTE which means the eating habits and what to consider when serving food to the Elderlys. Elderlys wanted an enjoyable and interesting event when it comes to eating and the “looks good, tastes good” food will encourage them to feel like eating because some have poor appetite. There are some important aspects to consider that oftentimes hinder this joy:
Emotion – an aged person will not feel like eating and may lose appetite if they feel irritated, scared, worried, excited and upset. The tendency is for them to choose certain foods which they only wanted to eat.
Physical Discomfort / Stress – People will definitely lose appetite if they feel any discomfort physically like for example having a broken set of dentures or incomplete teeth, bad taste in their mouth or any stomach indigestion, colds, fever or maybe flu.
Age – when people are aging food intake is mostly affected. They select foods which they only like and prefer foods which they chose. They usually drink lots of fluids, fruits and vegetables for easy bowel movement elimination. It’s easier for them to digest small amounts of meals and in between snacks.
Religious Customs and Beliefs – everyone of us have our own religious customs and beliefs when it comes to eating. Catholics eat any kind of food unless we have a severe allergy to it. Muslims have strict rules of not eating pork. And some people observe fasting except water or any other liquids.
Alcoholic Drinks and Drugs – instead of buying the necessary food needed, some male elderlys will resort to alcohol and drugs which may result to improper nutrition. This may be an obstacle in acquiring body nutrients.
Food Appearance – “pleasing to the eye” as we call it, palatable and smells good encourages the elderly to feel like eating.
Opinions and Ideas – aging people may think vegetables are only for vegetarians, milk for the infants and children whereas salads are only for women. Therefore misinterpretation and misinformation about proper nutrition may also be a contributing factor to improper diet.
Atmosphere and Environment – eating time at the dining room is most welcome for the elderlys. Must be comfortable at room temperature, free from unpleasant odors and sights and loud noise.
So there we have it, i think this will serve as our guidelines in taking care of our elderlys with regards to nutrition and eating habits. My mother is 73 years old and honestly speaking I am already applying these.