As we age, our relationship with food tends also changes. Our appetites increase and decrease with our physical conditions, moods, and external and internal factors.
Dieticians note that seniors living alone can be at risk of malnutrition, caused by factors that include loneliness and isolation (eating in front of the TV), and health problems that can signal much more worrisome outcomes.
Here’s 3 ways to tell if the senior in your life may not be eating properly:
- The refrigerator is consistently empty – a clear indicator that the desire to seek out quality/fresh food has either waned, or the resources to do so is somehow restricted.
- There’s spoiled food in the kitchen – a general indicator of apathy toward both nutrition and sanitation, and might signal the need for a deeper conversation.
- Pan-bottoms are burned – either scorched on the underside or stuck-on food on the cook-side – non-cleaned/remediated pans is an indicator of apathy toward cleanliness/sanitation but also might flag a conversation around fire risk (eg: how did this pan come to be so burned?). Stove shut-off valves and other kitchen safety tools might be introduced if the problem is more than just a one-off.