Many of us consume our meals each day without much thought about when and what we choose to eat. For our older family members, meals are much more important whether they are in their own house, living with you, or residing in a care home. By choosing to be a regular part of their mealtimes, you can play a critical role in their overall well-being as they age.
Promote Healthy Eating
Just one healthy meal can be delicious but also be the start of a healthy eating habit. When deciding to eat more nutritious meals, it always starts with the first. By choosing a cuisine and ingredients that your loved one enjoys, you can help motivate them to continue eating healthy meals that can have a lasting impact on their overall wellness.
When you choose to prepare and eat a meal with your loved one and invite others to enjoy it with you, you can help stave off the loneliness that sometimes results from isolation. Feeling lonely can cause health risks like depression and lowered immune function. Even just one meal a week can positively affect physical, emotional and mental health.
Encourage Social Engagement
Meals shared with a larger group of friends and family help foster social engagement. Surveys have shown that more socially active seniors are more likely to remain independent much longer or require less assistance as they age. Socializing regularly also influences Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Stimulating the brain while we respond during interpersonal communication can prevent or slow down the disease.
Nurture Relationships with Loved Ones
Unfortunately, some seniors experience less interaction with their friends and family members. This is more common once they receive help from trained care professionals in their home or live in a residence that assists. Sharing a meal with friends and family can bring everyone together to share pieces of their lives and allow your loved one to reveal stories of their past. This becomes more important over time.
At Gianna Homes, we encourage families to come together and support their loved ones facing dementia by being a regular part of mealtimes. To learn more about Gianna Homes and our services, contact us today.