November 02, 2016

carers tips - Satisfy a Senior’s Sweet Tooth in a Healthy Way

from Bradley Bursack

Providing an elder with a balanced, nourishing diet is not too difficult; convincing your loved one to consume these nutritional foods is the challenge.
As people age, their appetites often lag. Medications, pain, problems with teeth or swallowing, and the inability to taste certain flavours are only a few of the many causes of eating problems in the elderly.

Here are a few things to keep in mind about seniors and sweets:
•Most sweets have a high calorie count and a significant amount of fat. ... it may be okay for a senior, since aging bodies tend to lose fat reserves. (Naturally, people with diabetes need sugar-free products)

•...problems chewing, swallowing or digesting foods, it's natural for him or her to choose a soft sweet, such as a cupcake, over tougher foods, like meat.
•...dentures and tooth pain are both common reasons for problems with swallowing or chewing in seniors.
Steps to introduce nutrition any way you can
•make a list of foods that liked best throughout their life and incorporate them in smoothies etc. Smoothies are not a fad...homemade smoothies can be full of nutrients, taste delicious and deliver much-needed calories.

•Pureed foods .. If your loved one will eat pureed foods, that's great...I haven't seen much enthusiasm for them. In fact, I've seen grimaces, heard comments about "baby food," and seen lots of refusals, including spitting... rather offer a power house full of nutrition in the form of a smoothie that will be consumed than offer standard pureed foods that will be rejected.

•Temperature is important:...observe to see if they seem to have a preference.
•Keep portions small: Even if it's just a smoothie, pour it in a small glass and offer it frequently.

• Look for cookbooks with recipes that teach you how to "hide" nutrition in sweets and other preferred foods.

These resources are available for loan to members of AANSW - if you would like to reserve them please email the Library on

Healthy food fast : ways to get more fruit and vegies into your day
Australia. Dept. of Health
Health authorities agree that eating more fruit and vegies may be the single most important dietary change needed to improve health and reduce the risk of disease. This book shows how to get the recommended 2 serves of fruit and 5 serves of vegies each day.

Brain food : the essential guide to boosting your brain power

Eating the right foods can dramatically improve the performance of your brain and help you to think quicker, have a clearer memory and maintain a brighter outlook. This book contains 50 nutritious recipes to boost memory power, reduce stress and beat depression.

Adding life to your years : the cookbook
Nutrition Australia
This concise, 63 page colour book contains a range of easy to prepare recipes, meal and snack ideas when catering for one or two people. The book also contains valuable information about choosing a balanced diet, food hygiene and economical shopping for a well stocked, healthy pantry. Additional information is provided about maintaining general good health with advice on physical activity, alcohol consumption and diabetes.
It's all about the food not the fork!
Everyone enjoys the fun and convenience of snacks and other easy to eat food.
But for some people these meals in a mouthful are a life-changer—especially if they can be eaten with your hands and are good for you as well. That’s where new cookbook It’s all about the food not the fork! 107 easy to eat meals in a mouthful comes in—no cutlery required!

Don't give me eggs that bounce : 118 cracking recipes for people with Alzheimer's

It's all about how to make mealtimes a pleasurable, social and safe experience in the context of dementia, ageing, swallowing difficulties and texture-modified diets.
Carers are especially supported with time saving techniques, easy options and a special chapter on caring for the carer, along with lists of support organisations and resources.       

4 ingredients. 2. : over 400 fast, fabulous & flavoursome recipes using 4 or fewer ingredients

 all can be measured in terms of cup, teaspoon and tablespoon; the methodology is explained on average using 4 sentences and; all recipes use ingredients mostly found in your pantry or fridge already!
Dementia and nutrition in the home

 "Because eating is such an ‘every day’ occurrence its importance is being overlooked, but if you are living with dementia it’s often the ‘every day’ things that matter most. Poor nutrition can lead to much worse outcomes in people with dementia who may, as a result of malnutrition, enter residential care earlier and require longer and more frequent hospital stays."


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