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Caring for the eldery – Meals for One

courgette on toast

One of Grandma’s favourite easy meals for one, courgette from the garden on toast

When it came to food, my paternal Grandma was amazing, even into her late 80s. After Grandad died she always cooked proper meals for herself. She ran the colliery canteen, so she knew how important a good meal was. I don’t think my Grandad, who grew all the veg but was used to being catered for, would have managed quite the same.

My other Gran, who had lived alone since her late fifties when my maternal Grandad died, would have lived off tomato soup, white bread and toasted tea cakes if my Mum had let her.

I loved visiting both Grandmas and they taught me very different things about food, I love Heinz soup when I am feeling down, it picks me up like a visit to Gran’s house used to. I also love to try and cook like Grandma and grow veg like Grandad.

One of Grandma’s favourite meals for one was Courgette on toast, long thin fried slices in butter on a piece of toast, often with a soft boiled egg. A classic which Hugh Fearnley- Whittingstall has embellished with mint here.

This post looks at the needs of elderly people and how carers can be trained to offer them the best possible nutrition:

The Office for National Statistics has estimated that by 2034 the number of people aged over 85 will be 2.5 times more than in 2009. Over-85s will make up 5% of the UK population with a projected figure of 3.5 million.

Carers, whether live-in or visiting, are instrumental in making daily life easier for elderly who need a hand. Being aware of the importance of nutrition for seniors is one of the most important aspects of care giving.

The value of training

Most people regard good nutrition as a matter of common sense and approach the dietary needs of an elderly person with this in mind, but a professional who is in the position of caring for an elderly man or woman needs more than the common level of knowledge on nutrition in order to care effectively for their client.

Training providers like TutorCare look specifically of the diet requirements of the elderly and the implications of malnutrition.

Specific needs of elderly

The dietary needs of an elderly person differ greatly from those of younger adults. Lots of seniors are in great physical shape and enjoy the healthiest of diets.

However, many elderly people are being cared for because they are having difficulty coping with every day needs and their carer must take good nutrition into account. This takes into account when someone is recovering from an illness or surgery, or if they live alone and have trouble motivating themselves to cook properly.

The basics

The charity which supports caregivers, Carers UK, found that 60% of people worry that the person they are caring or is not getting their nutrition needs met. A good training course can address these concerns through practical and tailored advice which is relevant to the requirements of seniors.

As with any group, the elderly need to eat a balanced diet but one which takes into account their specific age-related health needs.

Post in association with Tutor Care

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