Nutritional Challenges in Home Care
Vicky Forest LPN
Maintaining a healthy nutritional balance when someone is ill becomes a challenge for most people. We know there are certain foods we should eat but loss of appetite when ill causes stress and then we can’t be bothered to cook. Being ill is challenge enough but the sudden loss of a partner can be even worse when trying to find the energy to eat healthy, especially if the person who is left has never done much cooking. As we age our appetite decreases and this affects how many nutrients we get in a day. Although seniors are not as active as when they were working many still are active physically and their bodies need healthy nutrition. This article will try to assist with some simple tips in eating some old favourites that are healthier than we think.
It is always best to try to eat three balanced meals a day. These do not have to be large meals but should contain some of the basic nutrients we need. Following Canada’s Food Guide is still an excellent way to determine what those nutrients are. This information can be found at www.healthcanada.ca.
When dealing with special diets it is important to remember less salt and sugar will help to make you feel better and maintain a healthy blood sugar and blood pressure. There has been so much hype in the media these last few years that is difficult to know what to believe. Fat is important in our diet but it should be the right fats such as nuts, seeds, avocado, salmon, tuna and low fat cheese. These are extremely nutritious foods that can be relatively inexpensive to eat. A lot of seniors have heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and even some cancers. Eating healthy foods can help you to decrease the severity of these diseases and in some cases prevent them. What about vitamins and minerals? Do we still need them? The answer to this is yes, even more so as we age. Our bodies do not store these things so it is important to eat the right foods every day or take supplements if the doctor prescribes them. Getting enough vitamins and minerals can help prevent anemia, depression and memory loss. They also help you heal better following an injury or surgery. Older bones are prone to breaking so vitamins and minerals are important here as well. Many older people feel they are not thirsty so they are getting enough fluids through the many cups of tea but it isn’t the same so keep drinking and stay healthy – up to 6-8 glasses per day! Stay tuned next time for some inexpensive foods and recipes you can eat and stay healthy.
Why choose a reputable home healthcare agency to care for your loved ones?
Caroline Gagne, CEO of Home Healthcare Network
How would you feel if you lived alone, with no family close by, no immediate friends to call upon, and required help on a weekly or daily basis? Oh, and did i forget to mention that you might be injured or perhaps elderly in this time of need?
Unfortunately, this is a situation many people are facing today, and they are forced to hire a stranger to help them into their home.
These individuals might require something as simple as meal preparation or a ride to an appointment, but some might also need assistance of a more personal nature, and/or have someone give them the right medication(s).
Let us remember once again, that these people cannot call upon friends or family to help them, and therefore must rely on strangers to help them with these temporary or permanent challenges.
So my question to you is; why should you hire a credible agency who charges a little more than a private individual, who has placed an ad in the classified section of the local paper or online?
First and foremost, it is important to realize that the agency will spend several hours screening applicants to find exceptional caregivers by demanding resumes, school certificates, conducting interviews, background checks, making sure the caregivers receive the appropriate First Aid certifications and the proper and required insurances. The agency will thoroughly check references from previous employers and clients. You will also be assured that if your regular caregiver happens to be away on any given day, you will still receive the necessary help you require, by another qualified substitute. An agency has many caring employees and much experience to draw upon, and will therefore ensure that you have a caregiver who is a satisfactory match to your needs, wants, interests, and personality.
You will entrust this person with your home, possibly your pet(s), your belongings, and most of all, your personal health and safety. So is saving a couple of dollars per hour worth the risk of hiring a stranger? People often forget that the client, whatever age or stage of life they find themselves in, also used to be independent and self sufficient. It is extremely difficult to let go of the little bit of control one has left in their life, and reach out for help in order to make their life more comfortable.
Yes, having someone come into your home to wash your hair, clean, do your dishes, your cooking, shopping and other every day tasks, might sound like an all inclusive holiday but, when you NEED a STRANGER to come into your life to do all the above, in your own home, it becomes an entirely different story and could become very depressing should you not have the right caregiver. A reputable agency can provide you with invaluable services, support when you need it most, and in the end the peace of mind that is needed in these difficult times.