Meal planning and preparation, grocery shopping, and understanding dietary restrictions are all part of providing quality in-home care services. Many seniors have health conditions or are on medications that can be affected by certain foods. In-home caregivers learn how to take a holistic approach to the health of their clients and ensure that dietary needs are incorporated into their care plans.
There are several health conditions that cause inflammation. When a person’s immune system begins attacking healthy tissues, it causes chronic inflammation. Different foods and activities can alleviate or aggravate the symptoms. Some of the more common health conditions that cause inflammation include:
There are many others in addition to this list. Since chronic inflammation can be painful and can lead to other health complications such as joint pain and organ failure, it is important to reduce the inflammation as much as possible.
Benefits of An Anti-Inflammatory Diet
One of the ways to reduce inflammation in seniors is with an anti-inflammatory diet. There are types of foods that are believed to increase inflammation. An anti-inflammatory diet avoids these types of foods while incorporating foods that are known to reduce inflammation.
The biggest dietary culprit for inflammation is processed foods. This includes sugary and fatty junk foods such as sweet desserts, pastries, snack chips, processed meat, sugary drinks, refined carbohydrates, foods high in caffeine, and packaged meals. Alcohol also causes inflammation, along with other negative effects.
The benefits of an anti-inflammatory diet result in less pain, more energy, and improved sleep. Whole foods that are full of nutrition will help reduce inflammation while also providing much needed nutrients for overall health. Anti-inflammatory foods include leafy greens, healthy plant-based fats, fatty fish, nuts, fruit, and most vegetables (nightshades can vary depending on the individual).
Tips for Adopting An Anti-Inflammatory Diet
In-home caregivers may have the challenge of providing care to seniors who do not want to give up inflammatory foods or who may not like anti-inflammatory foods. Below are a few tips that can help seniors get accustomed to an anti-inflammatory diet.
Ask the Doctor
Chances are, an anti-inflammatory diet was first recommended by the senior’s doctor. Get a specific list of foods that the senior should avoid and ask the doctor which inflammatory foods could be an exception. The doctor may have other recommendations as well, such as reducing certain foods rather than completely eliminating them.
Try New Recipes
In-home caregivers can include seniors in the dietary planning by having them help choose new recipes to try. Caregivers can also modify regular meals to include some anti-inflammatory foods, so that the meal planning remains somewhat familiar.
Go to Farmers Markets
If possible, taking the senior on an outing to a farmers market can help the senior be more open to trying new foods. It is also a way to connect with the local community and to learn about different foods. Groceries from the farmers markets will most likely be more nutritional, too! If the senior enjoys the outing, visits to the farmers market can become a regular part of their routine.
Plan in Advance
It is best for in-home caregivers to get input from their clients before they start a meal planning list. If there are foods a senior absolutely will not eat, in-home caregivers will know to avoid them and to choose a better option. Also plan to have a variety of anti-inflammatory foods on this list and to try new things if a senior starts getting bored of their regular meals.
Benefits of In-Home Care Services
In-home care services allow seniors to retain their independence by receiving care within the comfort of their own homes. In-home caregiving provides a personalized experience through care plans that are customized to the unique needs of each individual. The level of care can also be adjusted according to any changes in a senior’s circumstances.
Alegre Home Care is a local in-home care agency that has been providing caregiving services to seniors and people with disabilities for over 25 years. If you have questions about in-home care services or if you are interested in becoming one of our in-home caregivers, please contact us. We are happy to help!