Getting Real About Meals
"You have your own family to worry about, but now there is the added responsibility of worrying about your Parent who may be living on their own."
There are usually two concerns that come up on the topic of meals - Safety and Logistics. Safety in the kitchen is a concern at any age and the other is the worry over are our parents eating and do they have a way of getting groceries. It is much easier on the Caregiver when our loved one is still active and in good health - able to make their own meals and able to get groceries on their own. But what happens when it just becomes too much for them? Moreover, how will you know when it does?
It is important to keep a look out for signs. Over time, you will begin to notice subtle signs that your loved one may be struggling with this task. Not only are these signs of needing more help, they may also let you know whether they are eating well enough or at all. Depending upon your observations, you may want to talk with your loved one about the concerns and with their primary healthcare provider.
Thankfully there are many solutions available now to help overcome some of these challenges - making the kitchen a safer place and improving the supply chain of food or groceries.
Lets explore more about this.
There are some simple things to watch out for:
Are there dishes in the sink or dishwasher?
Is there food in the fridge?
Are there any containers in the trash?
Are the items in the pantry being consumed?
Is the food in the fridge expired?
Have they started loosing weight?
Is their kitchen unkempt?
When your loved one still enjoys making their own meals, then make every effort to create a safer kitchen environment for them. Some of the ways to go about this would be:
Having utensils with a larger grip
Appliances with timers
Removing any clutter
Having light weight pots and pans
It is really just common sense! Trying to do what is best for your loved one does require effort, but it really boils down to just good common sense. We make some of the products recommended available to you right here.
Thank God for Pods
Now that they have the working environment in a better state, lets address the other concern - Logistics. Logistics is about how to get meals or groceries to them. Some of these solutions will be familiar but you just never thought about using them this way.
Probably the most innovative way of doing your shopping these days is online. Hopefully this is a solution that you are already utilizing. Here are some of the benefits or additional reasons to using online grocery pick up or delivery services on a more regular basis:
Its a Caregiver time saver.
It is a task that you could assign to a Home Care Aide to do with your loved one.
Picking up groceries could be an outing opportunity with your or a Home Care Aide.
It is a task your loved one could do on their own if they are tech savy or using the Schwan's Catalog.
Peapod is the grocery delivery and pick up service associated with the Giant Supermarkets in the Philadelphia area. They've made purchasing groceries online so easy. You are able to use coupons and get discounts. Its easy to use, place place your order online, select a delivery time or pick up time.
Home Delivery Meal Kits
Another great time saver are the pre-packed meal kits; such as Bistromd. There are others; such as: Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, etc.
SCHWAN'S is another great option especially since ordering may be done online and through a catalog.
UBEREATS, GRUBHUB, and SLICE are some of the latest craze when it comes to take -out delivery services. Another Caregiver solution to help you get a hot meal.
Food Markets Hot Meals Bar
Another great meal solutions are from the Hot Meal Bars at local Markets and Grocery Markets.
Meals on Wheels
Meals on Wheels is a meal delivery service that is subsided by the government. It is a program offered by your local department of Area Agencies on Aging. The recipient pays between $7-$12 per day for 3 meals- breakfast, lunch and dinner. The price is determined on their income and requires a application. The meal is delivered once a day that includes: a breakfast item - oatmeal, cereal, coffee, a lunch item- sandwich, and a soup for dinner.
Home Made Meals
Let's face it. There is nothing like a home cooked meal. But what do you do when you have to prepare dinners for both your household and for your loved one? Here are some ways to go about this:
Once a month, dedicate a single day to do all of the grocery shopping and cooking. Order the groceries for this Online or have them delivered for that day.
Be sure to have enough containers to freeze portion size meals for your loved one to warm up later in a microwave.
Use this as opportunity for to let your loved one help, if it is possible.
Use their kitchen so that you will not have to deal with transporting and making a mess in your kitchen.
I'll have the PooPoo Plater
You may be thinking that "just because a solution is recommended here or it worked for you, does not mean that it is going to work for me." Understandable! The point is that solutions are out there, all you have to do is be open to trying them.
There is no job description for the Caregiver role and there are no rules for it either. Do what ever it takes to improve a situation or to be prepared for when the situation changes. By having so many options available to help you, all you have to do is try one of them- today. If it does not work, wake up tomorrow and try another one. Maybe the best solution is mixing and matching the solutions to come up with the one that best fits the needs of the Caregiver and the loved one you are caring for.