A while back I wrote several mini articles on considerations to keep in mind when providing meals for seniors. The series was titled "Rules For How To Feed A Senior" and identified four areas of concern that caregivers should be mindful of when assembling meals for the elderly. Those individual articles are still available on this site however I thought I would kick-off the New Year with a summary of those details in a single article for easy reference. An easy trick for remembering these guidelines is the acronym "HATS".
HATS stands for:
- Hydration- Dehydration causes all sorts of issues from blood pressure complications, UTI's, falling, etc. Keeping seniors hydrated should be a top priority!
- Appearance- As the expression goes "you eat with your eyes" so why not go the extra mile and make your gesture count. Presentation can go a long way when it comes to lifting spirits.
- Texture- Diffuculty swallowing and poor teeth are common concerns for seniors. Keep this in mind when preparing meals. Tough, crunchy and chewy foods can be problematic.
- Size- Seniors likely don't eat as much as they used to however balanced nutrition is still critical for optimal health. As portion sizes become smaller, caregivers should strive to uphold a well-rounded diet for those they are caring for.
Hopefully this posts is helpful for those of you managing a senior kitchen. I look forward to sharing many new culinary crafts with you in 2016 and I would love to hear about things you are cookin' up! Have a Happy New Year!