If you are older and live alone, it’s not uncommon to lose your appetite for nutritious food. This can be serious. Ask yourself: Am I losing weight? Are my clothes getting loose? Do I feel weak? Am I eating at least two good meals a day?
Just shopping for groceries can present challenges. Feeling motivated to cook for just one person also can be challenging.
If you do manage to shop and cook, dealing with leftovers can make food seem unappetizing. Taking certain medications can cause foods to taste strange. And because the aging process tends to dull our senses, food can seem less enticing.
Regardless, your body still needs proper nutrition. Eating leftover pizza for days on end is a bad idea.
Here are some suggestions:
- Use a food delivery service like Peapod. Try ordering just once a month by including frozen fruits and vegetables. After a week, you’ll probably run out of perishables—milk, bananas, apples, lettuce. But your neighbors might be happy to pick up items for you if you ask.
- Cook smaller portions. If you have leftovers, revive them by adding fresh or frozen vegetables. For zest, replace salt with lemon and garlic or salt-free herb and spice blends. Supplement your diet with products such as Boost or Ensure.
- If you have trouble cooking or cleaning up your kitchen and properly disposing of garbage and food waste, consider contacting a private in-home care provider. Home workers can assist with housekeeping and most are trained to cook basic, nutritious meals.
Life Care at Home professionals will work with your doctor or dietitian to help you enjoy a sustainable meal regimen.
Kathy Semrow R.N, director of Life Care at Home, a not-for-profit provider of private in-home personal care, shares her 42 years of nursing experience.