When it comes to making sure your elderly parent has healthy dinner options, you don’t have to struggle. There are easy ways to cook nutritious meals that don’t take long.
Keep These Kitchen Items on Hand
Start by making sure your parent’s kitchen has the right tools. A slow cooker is essential. With a slow cooker, all your mom or dad has to do is turn it on. If you’re worried they’ll forget to turn it off, a slow cooker with remote technology is a lifesaver. Package ingredients in Ziploc bags to make it easy for your parent to add to the crock in the morning for a day of slow cooking.
Look into casserole dishes that have a snap-on lid. You could go to a restaurant supply store and purchase disposable baking dishes, too. There are pros and cons with these. They don’t require cleaning, which is easier on your parent, but they are not great for the environment. You’ll need to decide what’s best for your family. You’ll need to note the cooking instructions somewhere.
Invest in foil or parchment bags, too. You’ll be able to put all necessary ingredients for a healthy meal into the freezer. Your mom or dad simply has to pop them into the oven and bake them for whatever time you write down. Freezer tape makes it easy to label what’s in the bag, what temperature to use, and how long to cook it for.
Prepare Multiple Meals at a Time
When you’re visiting on the weekend, set up a week’s worth of meals for your mom or dad. You can talk about their favorite meals, take them shopping for ingredients, and prep them when you return.
Mix the meals to ensure there’s a variety. Have a couple of casseroles in casserole dishes or foil pans, a few Crockpot meals, and some that get baked in oven-safe bags.
Hire Someone Else
If all else fails, hire a caregiver to cook your mom and dad’s meals for them. Some seniors do not like to eat alone. If no one is around, they’d rather grab snack foods that are easy to eat while watching TV or reading a book. Caregivers share a meal with your parent, so they’re more likely to eat healthier options.
Learn more about meal preparation opens by calling your local home care agency. Home care professionals can walk you through the best schedule and services for your parent’s needs.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring a caregiver in Eagle River, AK, call us! The friendly staff at Shine Bright Care are here to answer your questions.
Call toll-free – (888) 264-5998
In reflecting on this journey, my home care career, I cannot help but think of my parents. I assisted alongside my sister, to care for them during their last years. Both mother and father had suffered a stroke, heart attacks, diabetes, dementia, hypertension and many more complications that I cannot even imagine going through.
Life as a caregiver was not easy but it was something that you just had to do, especially for your parents. Both my parents needed full-time 24-7 care, meaning they could not do anything for themselves. Every day my sister would care for them, whether it was assisting them to medical appointments, cooking and cleaning, bathing and showering, or transferring from wheelchair to bed. It was their complete care for all activities of daily living.
I think of my parents often. My father passed in 2012 and my mother recently passed in 2015. I would give anything to have them back. That would be selfish to say, as it would have meant them suffering and not living a full life. I know they are in heaven smiling down.
With the experience of caring for my parents, I was able to secure a job as a direct support professional. I was later offered a job as a case manager and excelled to become a team leader. Gradually I was promoted to being a care coordinator and from then on, I just knew this was meant for me.
This is my calling; this is my life’s purpose. I went on to experience greater things in this field of Human Services. To care and help individuals and families find support and services needed to navigate the system to meet their needs, is such an honor and rewarding experience to be involved in.
I look back, and a decade has passed since I started and it is now 2017. I would love to thank my parents for giving me the opportunity to have the experience of caring for them and go on to do something great with helping others find care and support in the community.
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