If you have an elderly loved one who lives alone, you undoubtedly have concerns for their health and well being. Even if that person has a home care aide who comes over on a regular basis, you should still keep an eye out for situations that might pose health risks. Along with making certain that your senior's bathroom is equipped with safety bars, that steps are covered in nonslip materials, and that the house is well-lighted and free from fall risks such as extension cords and loose throw rugs, you should investigate the possible presence of dietary risks. Here are three things to look for when determining whether your senior's health may be compromised by kitchen practices:
Is There Rotting or Expired Food in the Refrigerator?
One of the things that you should always do when you visit your elderly loved one is to check the refrigerator for rotting or expired food. Because taste and smell both decrease with aging, your loved one could conceivably consume something that could cause food-borne illnesses such as salmonella or botulism. If you find this condition more than once, talk with your senior's caregiver about keeping a closer eye on the contents of the refrigerator. If it still continues to be a problem, it may be time to consider an assisted living option.
Can Your Loved One Shop and Cook?
Seniors who are unable to prepare even simple meals for themselves are at risk of developing certain health conditions such as diabetes and hyperthyroidism. Fortunately, there are services that shop for seniors, and your senior's caregiver may also be able to perform this function. There are also services that deliver hot meals to seniors. However, you senior will not be able to completely depend on these services. Assisted living facilities, such as Alpine Manor Home For Adults, have full dining rooms that serve three meals a day, and cooks are skilled at tailoring menus to meet the specific dietary needs of seniors.
Is Your Senior Aware of Possible Food/Medicine Interactions?
Some foods don't mix well with certain medications. For instance, kale can interfere with the effectiveness of prescribed blood thinning medication because it contains high amounts of vitamin K. Vitamin K is instrumental in helping the blood to clot. Pomegranates and grapefruits can interfere with how the body processes medication prescribed to reduce cholesterol. If your senior is unaware of what what foods may react badly to the medications they're taking, assisted living facilities have medication management programs that can prevent negative interaction between food and medicine.