Grocery shopping is not just a chore, it’s essential. Older adults are especially susceptible to malnutrition (World Health Organization). It is important that they receive enough nutrition for their bodies to operate well. Although they may need less calories than younger people, older adults still need to consume the same nutrients.
This population is at increased risk for malnutrition if they have a few of the following risk factors, as identified by Frank W. Jackson, M.D.,
- in general poor health
- poor eating habits
- sudden and unexpected weight changes
- taking multiple medications
- poor dental health, especially dental deterioration
- economic difficulties, causing the older adult to not spend money for their own nourishment
- loneliness and lack of social contacts; eating is a social activity
- cognitive impairments that no longer allow the older adult to care for themselves
Remember that the senses are also changing for older adults. If a food no longer tastes good, it becomes less desirable. Try using new seasonings and pepper to revive old favorite foods (Elder One Stop).
It is important not only to buy and consume the groceries, but to discard those that have already expired. Eating an expired food item puts you at risk for food poisoning. Common symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, fever, nausea, and dizziness, among others (Health: One How To).
NursePartners coordinates grocery orders for clients. We want to ensure that they are eating a well-balanced diet, consuming enough calories, and avoiding expired items. Carepartners record what the client eats for each meal. They do a weekly inventory all items in the refrigerator and cabinets and gives a report to our Administrative Assistant, Tarika Kirkley. Tarika purchases the groceries online and coordinates the delivery. A carepartner will be present to confirm the items received and place them away.
As you involve us in the process, it frees you time to enjoy the older adults in your life doing other activities. To learn more about this and other services, call 610-323-9800.