Home Health Care News

Seniors At Risk, Caregivers Under Pressure

As a family caregiver, you’re under plenty of pressure. A demanding job, a growing family, a bust household, financial obligations and volunteer commitments can leave you feeling frazzled. Then, add the task of caring for an aging relative, and you may often feel like you’re reaching the boiling point. With all of these responsibilities, mealtime can become a real challenge. After all, who has time to plan healthy meals for one household, let alone two?

Home Instead Senior Care’s research reveals that the majority of family caregivers find themselves in this situation.

The research also found that caring for an older person who has three or more nutritional risk factors (such as illness, multiple medications and unexplained weight loss/gain) leads to increased stress levels for caregivers. Sixty-seven percent of the study participants in the U.S. and 63 percent in Canada who rated their lives as “extremely stressful” were caring for loved ones with three or more nutritional risk factors compared with 33 percent in the U.S. and 37 percent in Canada whose seniors had fewer than three nutritional risk factors. An estimated 83 percent of family caregivers in the U.S. and 76 percent in Canada help with groceries or other errands; 65 percent in the U.S. and 53 percent in Canada assist with meal preparation.

Dietary issues are a real concern for caregivers and seniors alike. “Without good nutrition, health can deteriorate very quickly, making older adults more susceptible to disease and infection,” said Dr. Nadine Sahyoun, Associate Professor of Nutrition and Food Science at the University of Maryland College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

According to family caregivers, 57 percent of seniors in the U.S. and 47 percent in Canada rarely cook for themselves. If your senior relies on you to stock his or her cupboard with healthy foods, make the most of it by adding some fun to the mix. “Make eating a happy event,” Dr. Sahyoun said. “Food is at the core of our lives – it’s the smell, color, feel, texture and social context. All of this is what makes a meal enjoyable.” You can also create a pleasing plate by incorporating a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables.

And don’t forget that all-important ingredient – companionship – which no senior should be without. A dining companion is the icing on the cake for an older adult who may eat many of his or her meals alone.

Home Instead Senior Care is an in-home health care provider located in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina serving individuals and families in the Myrtle Beach and Grand Strand area for over 11 years! We offer assistance to those in need for companionship, home help, personal care, short-term recovery, Alzheimer’s care, Respite care and many other services to make your life easier.

© Home Instead Myrtle Beach
p) 843. 357. 9777
f) 843. 357. 9779
11746 Hwy 17 Bypass, Suite B
Murrells Inlet, SC 29576