Elderly oral health and hygiene – part three

In part three of our blog on Elderly Oral Health and Hygiene we addressed the connection with Nutrition. If you are caring for an elderly loved one, their oral health and hygiene is vitally important. In this, the 3rd blog, we will address help such as Meals on Wheels and other alternatives.

Most families or family members who choose to look after their elderly loved ones have a lot on their plates. After all, the love and devotion they feel for their relative does not alter the workload. That is why it is worth considering help with their meals.

Here, at Vermont Aged Care, we have extensive experience in caring for the elderly. Therefore we also know that nutritious, well balanced meals are essential for their health. That is why we are happy to pass on the following tips that might be helpful to you.

Preparing meals

Of course the ideal situation would be for the entire family to eat the same meal. However, in reality, this is not always possible. If your elderly loved one has lost some teeth they may not be able to chew properly. Further, they may be on a restricted diet due to a health condition. For any number of reasons one meal fits all may not be practical.

This may require you to think outside the box. Also, if the main cook of the family also works outside the home, they may not have much spare time. There are gadgets that can help. For instance, slow cookers can be left on all day. Having the ingredients put on in the morning will ensure a hot evening meal. Moreover, using a variety of ingredients, the results need not be repetitious.

Link:  http://extension.psu.edu/health/news/2016/the-benefits-of-slow-cooker-meals

For instance, cooking a very large batch at one time means extra portions for the freezer. Freezing food is one of the best systems of rapid meal preparation. Almost any recipe can be frozen. Furthermore, the recipe will tell you whether it is suitable for freezing or not. Often, simply leaving out an ingredient such as cream, will alter that situation. As in beef stroganoff for instance.

Link:  http://www.healthyfoodguide.com.au/articles/2013/march/big-chill

Rice, mashed potatoes, cauliflower cheese and the like can all be frozen. Reheated correctly they will be as perfect as the day they were made. Without a doubt, this will save the cook hours of work. If there are teenagers in the family who can handle knives they can help with the vegetables. Many hands will make light work in the kitchen. And the children will learn something in the bargain. Furthermore, these foods are soft and easy to eat for the elderly.

Nutritionists

Long ago, in the west, people lived in tribes. Knowledge and tradition were passed down the generations. Change came and families began to separate from each other. At first they were large families. Then, with the introduction of birth control, families got progressively smaller. Much of that knowledge and tradition was lost, particularly when women started working outside the home. Nonetheless, the gap has been filled by professionals. Doctors, pharmacists, naturopaths and nutritionists all have a role to play in our lives.

You might find a consultation with a nutritionist or dietician very helpful. Particularly if you take your elderly loved one with you to the appointment. They will be able to draw up an eating plan for them. Furthermore it will be tailored to your family’s needs and current situation. This in turn will make shopping much easier with the help of a list.

Link:  http://www.nutritionaustralia.org/national/resource/nutrition-and-older-adults

Meals on Wheels

Some of you may find it is not possible to feed everyone the same meal. In that case, perhaps you should consider outside assistance. This can come from a variety of sources. For instance many elderly are serviced by Meals on Wheels or similar organisations. These organisations are experts in their own field. Further, they are dependable and they have to obtain government approval.

The diversity of migrants who have come to live in Australia has changed the way we eat. Therefore, religious beliefs and cultural choices are now the norm. Fortunately, different organisations cater for these needs. Whatever the needs of your family you will be able to find the right one for your elderly loved one. Just look them up on the Internet and give them a call. After a little research you will find the right one for your family.

In conclusion

We hope you have enjoyed this series of three blogs on elderly oral health, hygiene and nutrition Home. Furthermore, we hope the advice we have given you will prove helpful. We know it is not easy to care for an elderly loved one. However, the rewards will be commensurate with the efforts you put in.

Make sure the entire family contributes to the workload. The children will learn valuable lessons in the process too. Lessons such as family loyalty and team building will carry over into their adult lives. Moreover, the continued good health of the most senior members of the family will be great recompense.

Link:  http://www.mealsvictoria.org.au

Link:  http://www.seniorservicesguide.com.au/list/Meals/australia/vic/city+of+melbourne+lg/melbourne

Look out for our next blog. We will make sure we have something interesting and helpful for you to read. Until then, from our extended family here at Vermont Aged Care, we wish you and your elderly loved ones happiness and good health. Bye bye for now.

Recommended reading

http://extension.psu.edu/health/news/2016/the-benefits-of-slow-cooker-meals

http://www.healthyfoodguide.com.au/articles/2013/march/big-chill

http://www.nutritionaustralia.org/national/resource/nutrition-and-older-adults

http://www.mealsvictoria.org.au

http://www.seniorservicesguide.com.au/list/Meals/australia/vic/city+of+melbourne+lg/melbourne

This blog is intended to provide helpful advice. Please speak with your family GP for personalised information or, for specialist advice & support in Melbourne Australia, please contact VERMONT AGED CARE:

770 Canterbury Road, Vermont, Victoria, Australia 3133

Phone: +61 03-9873 5300. Email: info@vermontagedcare.com.au

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