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Why Meal Prepping is Beneficial to Seniors

Meal prepping is the act of preparing several meals in one sitting so that there are readily available meals available when a person gets hungry.

Meal preparation can essentially be any type of food but is primarily used to prepare meals that are healthy and satisfying. During the act of meal prep, the individual likely will cook a minimum of three or four meals in one sitting, however he or she can choose to do more or less based upon their needs and desires. Meal preparation can help an individual lose weight, stick to an eating plan or simply help prepare convenient and healthy meals.

How is Meal Prepping Beneficial to Seniors? How Can a Caregiver Help?

Heart-Healthy FoodsMeal prepping is a healthy way to stay on top of a specific meal plan and focus on nutrition. For seniors, nutrition may be one of the biggest factors in their health status, especially if they have been diagnosed with an illness or disease. Before an elderly individual commits to meal prepping, it is advised that he or she consults with their doctor about the foods they should be eating on a daily basis. This will give them an idea of the types of foods they should be eating, as well the foods they need to prepare during their meal prepping session.

In order to maintain senior health and wellbeing, he or she should invest in the practice of meal preparation in order to stay nourished and strong. Malnutrition in elderly individuals is a very serious problem and their food intake should be monitored closely. Meal preparation will allow the senior to simply reheat previously cooked food and eat their food without having to stand for long periods of time cooking or spend excessive amounts of time in the kitchen.

Since seniors cannot spend an unwarranted amount of time on their feet in the kitchen cooking, he or she may choose to enlist help in order to achieve their daily household tasks. A professional caregiver can help seniors with many tasks, including meal preparation and grocery shopping, so that the senior does not have to strain themselves in order to eat proper meals. This caregiver will not only save the senior time and energy, but they can give their family members peace of mind that their loved one is getting the nutrients he or she needs in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Not only will meal prepping give the seniors a healthy meal, but it will encourage them to eat the already prepared food rather than going out to eat or ordering fast food. If a senior is feeling exhausted or not 100%, he or she may opt for a faster food option such as fast food or ordering food to be delivered. These options are okay every once and a while (pending doctor approval) but should not be the go-to option when they feel tired or are too busy to worry about cooking. A premade meal will take the guessing out of what they are going to eat and makes no room for excuses to eat out or eat junk!

Additionally, seniors may not have the ability to navigate around the kitchen in a safe manner. The kitchen can be a very stressful and chaotic place for elderly individuals, full of hazards and dangers such as knives, heavy objects and high cabinets. Having a caregiver there to help meal prep will prevent seniors from going into the kitchen to try to reach or grab something that is too far or heavy, as well as giving them assistance in warming up their meals before consumption. A professional caregiver will cook the meals, clean the kitchen and place all meal prep containers in a safe space that is easily accessible to the elderly individual. Additionally, it is important to remember that if a senior will be reheating their food while he or she is alone or without a caregiver, it is important to have them in microwave safe dishes and have oven mitts readily available. Safety should always be a priority and caregivers will help the elderly individual stay safe!

What’s on the Menu?

As previously mentioned, it is important that a senior citizen checks with his or her medical professionals before committing to a new meal plan. Depending on their medical history and current diagnoses, he or she may be prescribed to eat a lot of fresh fruits and veggies, consume plenty of leafy greens or have a high protein diet. Each person’s meal prep needs will vary depending on the individual’s requirements and his or her food preferences. Diagnosis specific recipes can help the elderly individual meet their daily nutrition requirements while still enjoying delicious meals. Together, the senior and their caregiver can great a shopping list that will guide the caregiver through the grocery store and allow them to plan out doctor approved healthy meals that the individual will thoroughly enjoy!

Although meal preparation may seem time consuming and tedious, it will allow elderly individuals to continue to meet their nutrition requirements, while enjoying pre-made food! Caregivers are the perfect source of support to utilize for meal preparation, medication reminders and companionship. Happy eating!

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Foods That Will Help with Caregiver Focus

We know that being a caregiver requires a lot of focus, energy and consistency. It can be challenging to stay focused when you are at work, especially when you may have other things happening in your life that demand attention. We think that these brain foods can help you improve your focus, concentration and awareness.

  • Caffeine can give you the “pick me up” that you are looking for when you start to lose focus. Although too much caffeine is not good for you and can make you feel anxious and jittery, the right amount can help you feel more focused. Try a small cup of coffee in the morning or in the afternoon when your focus starts to fade.
  • The right kind of sugar can help you stay alert and awake! We are not talking about picking up some sugary candy at the grocery store as an afternoon snack, but rather healthy and natural sugars that can be found in fruit or fruit juice. Think to yourself: would you rather have a natural burst of energy or a sugar-high that will eventually lead to a crash? Skip the sugary snacks and grab an orange or a glass of orange juice!
  • Fish can help boost your brain health and activity with the help of the omega-3 fatty acids that are in it! Try eating this delicious dish once or twice a week to start!
  • When it doubt, eat breakfast…consistently! Unless you are directed to do otherwise by a medical professional, eat a healthy and hearty breakfast that will fuel you for the day. Try to aim for protein, veggies or fruits and a good source of energy boosting foods. We suggest trying something like this: two eggs to your liking, an orange and a small cup of coffee.

We know that it is easy to lose focus in the afternoon and it can be challenging to focus on your work when there are dozens of things happening in your mind. However, we encourage you to try these foods that are perfect for sustaining and maintaining energy and focus during your busy day! We are so appreciative for all that you do for your clients and we hope that you continue to stay focused and driven!

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Sleep and Nutrition: Connection or Coincidence?

Sleep is important, as it is the foundation of a healthy mind and body. As individuals age, it can be challenging for them to achieve a good night’s sleep. They may feel as though they cannot sleep because they have a lot on their mind or they may have difficulty getting comfortable enough to get a full night of sleep. It is also equally possible that seniors may have trouble getting out of bed and may get too much sleep. Both instances cause your senior loved one to make poor nutrition and food choices, but how? Learn more below!

If you or your senior loved one is not getting enough sleep, this can cause them to feel overly tired throughout the next day. It is human nature that when we are tired or fatigued, we do not feel up to cooking healthy meals with the nutrients that our body needs and deserves. When your senior loved one is sleep deprived, he or she is more likely to have an appetite for high-fat, high-carb foods that are easy and quick. These foods often are “comfort foods” such as potatoes, pasta, fast food, etc. They also are more than likely not drinking enough water if they are consistently experiencing a restless night’s sleep. Dehydration is one of the causes of a wacky sleep cycle and a lack of sleep may cause someone to make unhealthy choices of drinks, such as soda rather than water. This is a cycle that has no end unless hydration is a priority.

Additionally, if your loved one is getting too much sleep, they are at risk for making poor nutrition choices as well. When you get too much sleep, you are more likely to wake up the following day feeling groggy, sleepy and fatigued. This makes you feel as though you need more sleep, which many seniors opt to have during the day. If your aging loved one continues to sleep, he or she will continue to feel the fatigue and groggy feeling. This will increase their chances of making poor food choices, as they most likely will not be able to muster up the energy to prepare healthy foods. This will also create a cycle that will be hard to break, as it will take a lot of dedication and hard work to break.

We hope that you or your loved one will be conscious and aware of your sleep pattern moving forward. As you try to get into a routine, we encourage you to log the amount of sleep that you get each night and record how you feel in the morning, including the food choices that you make. You can then pinpoint the amount of sleep that you or your loved one needs to feel rested and to make nutritious and healthy food choices. It is also advised that you speak with a medical professional for more information on the proper nutrition and sleep that you need.

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Food That Can Help You Get a Better Night’s Sleep

Do you have trouble unwinding at the end of the day? Are you struggling with getting to bed at a decent hour? We know that life can be chaotic and often when we lay down at night, we are left with our thoughts that keep us awake at night. This is not uncommon, as millions of people experience this each night. But did you know that there are certain foods that can help you get a good night’s rest? That’s right—food can help you sleep! Take a look below to see what foods can help you get quality sleep tonight!

  • Walnuts are rich in tryptophan, which helps your body produce serotonin and melatonin. Try grabbing a handful of these yummy nuts to snack on before bed!
  • Cheese, or any sort of dairy, helps your body use the calcium found in the dairy product to use tryptophan in the product to trigger more melatonin in your body to be produced. This means that you will naturally feel sleepy and you can catch a good night of sleep after a few pieces of cheese or a cup of warm (or cold) milk.
  • Chamomile tea has been a sleep aid for many years, as it has been proven to help relax your body, mind and muscles. Try having a cup of chamomile tea about 30 minutes before you would like to fall asleep.
  • Leafy greens are not only good for your body, but they can help you fall asleep as well! Did you know that leafy greens contain calcium, which can assist your body from using tryptophan to produce melatonin, which is the main trigger of a good night’s sleep!
  • Chickpeas or hummus have a good dose of tryptophan, which will help you produce more melatonin. Try having some chickpeas or hummus with your dinner and you will ease into a great night’s rest!

We know that falling asleep can be tricky, especially when there are plenty of things on your mind. Next time you are struggling to fall asleep, remember these foods that can help you get a great night’s rest. If you are experiencing severe insomnia, please seek medical attention from a professional. We hope that these tips help you rest and recharge!

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Heart-Healthy Foods You Will Enjoy Eating

Taking care of your heart is so important as you age, as elderly individuals are at risk for heart attacks or cardiac arrest. Fundamental heart health starts with a healthy and balanced diet, where your body will get the necessary nutrients that it needs to be strong and healthy. We curated a list of heart healthy foods that we think you will not only enjoy eating but that will be beneficial to your overall wellness, health and happiness.

  • Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and can help your blood flow. Salmon also helps lower the type of fat called triglycerides, which can lead to heart disease and complications in the future.
  • Nuts, specifically walnuts, are a good source of fat. Although they do have monounsaturated fats, this type of fat is quite different from saturated fats, as they are good for you! Walnuts have omega-3 acids too and a serving size of 5 ounces a week can help make a difference in your heart health.
  • Dark chocolate – that’s right we said chocolate! Dark chocolate has flavanols in it, which can help prevent blood clots within your body and can aid in lowering your blood pressure. While milk chocolate may be sweeter and taste better, dark chocolate has more flavanols and less sugar, which makes it a much healthier option.
  • Fat-free or low-fat milk or yogurt products can help lower your blood pressure. These foods contain potassium, which can help you lower your blood pressure over time. By choosing a yogurt or dairy product that is low-fat or fat-free you are lowering the saturated fat that you consume, and you can avoid raising your cholesterol!

We know that eating healthy, while enjoying the foods you consume can be a tricky thing to manage. Try eating the foods we listed above to keep your heart healthy and to keep yourself happy along the way. We recommend consulting your doctor before making a complete diet change and ask them to recommend foods that are going to benefit you and your health. We hope that you remain happy, healthy and prosperous.

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Health Benefits of Drinking Water

Staying hydrated is one of the most important factors to living a healthy life. Water should be an everyday staple in every one’s life, but especially as we age. 24 Hour Home Care put together a list of benefits of drinking water every day:

  • Urinary Health. As an individual age, he or she may experience incontinence. Drinking water may seem daunting to those that are experiencing incontinence, which can then lead to dehydration or infections that can be very painful. Drinking the recommended amount of water every day can help maintain healthy urinary health and can prevent any infections from happening.
  • Digestion Improves with Hydration. As individuals get older, they may experience constipation and discomfort with their bowel movements. When water intake is upped, it allows the body to reset and can provide relief for those experiencing constipation or any other discomfort.
  • Energy Levels May Increase. As more water is consumed, it will leave your body feeling hydrated, refreshed and restored. This will allow you to feel better, become more active through out the day and will allow you to rest more soundly at night.
  • Headaches Decrease. Headaches are a side effect of severe hydration and can cause a lot of pain and discomfort in the long run. Drinking more water can cause headaches to decrease, allowing the individual to feel better and have more comfort in their everyday life.

We know that it can be hard to make sure that you get the right amount of water in on a daily basis. Try setting reminders for yourself or your loved one to drink water every hour to stay on a regimented schedule. We hope that you and your family live a very happy, healthy and hydrated life!

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The Importance of Meal Planning for Seniors

It’s estimated that 16 percent of women and 4 percent of men suffer from osteoporosis, or low bone density. This disease can lead to the deterioration of bones and an increased risk of injury. The best way to combat osteoporosis is through a balanced, calcium-rich diet. It’s just one of the many illnesses and diseases that can be controlled or avoided through careful meal planning and dietary adjustments. While meal planning for seniors is important, many lack the knowledge, strength, time, and energy to prepare healthy food items. It can be difficult to pick up ingredients from the grocery store, let alone prepare them. In-home care in Plano is an excellent way to take the guesswork out of meal planning, and ensure that your loved one is getting the proper nutrition they need from their food. With a in-home caregiver, planning and preparation is simple.

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The Importance of a Balanced Diet

As seniors age, there are many obstacles that will occur and are completely outside of their realm of control. Certain health issues may arise , and these can be unforeseeable or uncontrollable. However, many issues are within their control. Diet is one of the easiest and most effective ways to prevent future illnesses and problems, and can be completely controlled by the patient. Because it’s more difficult for an aging body to absorb the vitamins and nutrients needed to remain healthy, careful planning is important when determining which foods to eat. Through eating balanced and healthy meals, seniors may be able to reduce their blood pressure, cholesterol levels, manage blood sugar, and increase cognitive function. In turn, they’ll live longer, more fulfilling lives and have the energy to continue participating in their favorite activities.

Dietary Restrictions and Modifications

It’s not uncommon for seniors to become deficient in specific vitamins and nutrients as they age. Vitamin D and calcium, for example, are extremely important minerals. If a senior isn’t getting enough of these vitamins, it could lead to serious health complications. To ensure that optimum health is maintained, physicians may recommend a diet that’s rich in the specific nutrients that certain patients may be lacking. Citrus, leafy greens, or other recommendations may be made in an effort to create an abundance of the vitamins that were previously missing from the patient’s body.

In some cases, seniors may be taking prescriptions that can impact their diet. Specific foods may need to be avoided so as to not interact with the efficiency of medications. Omitting these foods while still eating delicious meals can be tricky. Instead of creating a healthy meal plan that abides by these dietary restrictions, many seniors choose meals that are quick, easy, and often lacking in nutrients. While frozen meals may taste all right, they rarely provide the nutrition seniors need to thrive.

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A Simple Solution

Is it possible for seniors to get the nutrition that they need, without interfering with medications, and still having plenty of delicious options? Yes! With the help of an in-home caregiver, meal prepping is easier than ever. In-home care providers are familiar with the dietary needs of seniors. Instead of simply preparing healthy meals, an in-home care specialist is deeply involved in the nutrition of each of their clients. They’ll accompany your loved one to appointments and ask questions about which foods the doctor recommends and which should be omitted from the diet. Based on the recommendations of your loved one’s physician, they’ll create healthy meals that are not only rich in nutrients, but delicious, too. Your loved one will be included in the planning process, ensuring that they’re involved and happy with the selection. Following the meal planning, your loved one’s caretaker will make a grocery list and pick up all of the ingredients needed. They can even help with preparation and cooking, making healthy eating easier than ever for your loved one.

Don’t let your loved one’s nutrition fall by the wayside. Instead, hire home care in Plano to ensure that they are getting a well-balanced diet with every snack and meal. 24Hr Homecare provides home care specialists that are experienced in meal planning and preparation. Whether your favorite senior has dietary restrictions or simply needs to eat more vegetables, with the help of 24Hr Homecare, you can find a caregiver who can help provide the nutrition needed.

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