As people age, their bodies undergo changes that can make it difficult to maintain a healthy weight. Additionally, cognitive decline can make it challenging for some seniors to make sound dietary choices. This is why memory care living facilities use strategies to help control food intake and ensure that their residents are receiving the nutrition they need. In this article, we will explore some of the strategies used in memory care living to control food intake.
One of the most effective strategies used in memory care living facilities is meal planning. This involves creating a menu of nutritious meals that meet the dietary needs of residents while considering their individual preferences and restrictions. Meal planning ensures that residents are receiving the appropriate amounts of protein, fiber, and other essential nutrients. Senior living communities have excellent dining facilities which make this very easy to implement.
Another strategy used to control food intake is to serve smaller portions. This can be beneficial for seniors who may have a reduced appetite or difficulty eating larger meals. By serving smaller portions, memory care living facilities can ensure that residents are not overeating while still receiving the nutrients they need.
Many memory care living facilities also offer snack stations that are stocked with healthy snacks like fresh fruit, vegetables, and nuts. This strategy allows residents to snack throughout the day without overeating at mealtimes. Snack stations can also help residents who may have difficulty eating larger meals by providing them with smaller, more frequent options. The snack stations should have healthy, fresh snacks at all times.
Another strategy used in memory care living facilities is to offer nutrient-dense foods. These have high quantities of essential vitamins and minerals while being relatively low in calories. Guests can consume more of these foods without overeating, helping them to maintain a healthy weight. Nutrient-dense foods include lean meats such as poultry and fish, as well as nuts and berries. Leafy greens are also an excellent choice especially when cooked properly. These not only improve their general health, but also improve brain function. Fish, for instance, has omega 3 fats which are useful in improving brain health as well as reducing the risk of many diseases such as arthritis, some types of cancer and heart disease.
Memory care living facilities also use flavorful foods to control food intake. By offering foods that are full of flavor, residents are more likely to enjoy their meals and consume appropriate portions. Flavorful foods can also be beneficial for seniors who may have a reduced sense of taste or smell, as they can make food more appealing. This is important since some guests with memory impairment may forget to eat or simply refuse to do so especially if the food is bland.
Providing Necessary Assistance with Feeding
For seniors who may have difficulty eating on their own, memory care living facilities offer assistance with eating. This can involve feeding residents who are unable to feed themselves, as well as providing specialized utensils that make eating easier. By providing this level of support, memory care living facilities can ensure that residents are consuming appropriate portions and receiving the nutrients they need. The communities are staffed by team members who are trained to provide such services.
Memory care living communities use a variety of strategies to control food intake and ensure that their guests are receiving the nutrition they need. These strategies include meal planning, serving smaller portions, offering snack stations, providing nutrient-dense and flavorful foods, and offering assistance with eating. By implementing these strategies, memory care living facilities can help seniors maintain a healthy weight and improve their overall health and wellbeing.