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Diet and Nutrition Tips
Make dining social. Elderly people
often fail to eat well because they don't like to eat
Take notice of food content in their loved-oneís home.
Keep their refrigerator well stocked and watch for and
remove old or spoiled food in the fridge.
Serve finger foods or food that is already cut up. Itís
easier for less dexterous hands.
Food portions should be small so they do not look
overwhelming. Large volumes of food may spoil an elderly
person's limited appetite.
Monitor your loved-oneís fluid intake. You should make
sure they have adequate fluids by keeping a pitcher of a
favorite drink in the refrigerator and serving from that
If your loved one has a decreased appetite you can:
Offer high caloric drink foods such as ice cream, milk
shakes, or eggnog.
Offer familiar foods; these favorite foods can stimulate
Try making the main meal of the day at lunch when the
appetite is often larger.
Sit directly in front of the person and show each
spoonful to help them orient.
Offer 4 to 6 small meals a day instead of 3 larger
If your loved one is having problems swallowing:
Allow time between bites and check mouth periodically
for food in the cheek.
You may need to remind the person to swallow.
Gently stroking the throat will help to stimulate
Observe and alter food textures that cause the most
difficulty. Liquids can be thickened with gelatin or
applesauce. Solids can be moistened or pureed for easier