How To Feeding Your Loved Ones

 

Family eating at the table|How To Feeding Your Loved Ones

Preparing and Serving Food

Your goal in preparing food is to promote your loved one’s health.  When you are preparing food, there are a few guidelines that need to be followed. Use cooking methods that will preserve color and taste, as well as vitamins and minerals. Do not add unnecessary ingredients such as large amounts of salt or fats.

Before serving the food, help your loved one to use the bathroom and wash his or her hands, this will help your loved one to have a nice mealtime. Serve foods at the desired temperature, make meals more appealing, pick foods with high nutrients and calories for better taste if the diet allows. Try to offer a variety of meals; no one wants to eat the same thing every day. Always keep your loved one company when they’re eating—it will help them feel more comfortable. Allow them as much time as needed to eat.

Caregiver feeding patient|How To Feeding Your Loved Ones

Feeding your Loved One

Materials Needed

  •  Utensils: knife, fork, and spoon
  •  Dishes, bowls, cup, glass
  •  Napkins (2)
  •  Towel or bib
  •  Straws
  •  Any other special utensils

Procedure

  1. Explain what you are going to do.
  2. Wash your hands.
  3. Obtain materials listed above.
  4. Prepare your loved one for the meal:
    • Offer to assist with going to the bathroom.
    • Offer to assist your loved one with washing his or her hands.
    • Position your loved one to sit up in the bed or in a chair.
    • Place table or bed tray over your loved one’s lap so he or she can see and reach the food.
  5. Sit near them.
  6. Cut food, butter bread, pour and prepare liquids as needed.
  7. Ask them what he or she would like to eat first.
  8. Encourage them to do as much self-feeding as possible.
  9. Feed your loved one, one bite at a time.   Use a spoon and fill only half-full and according to the ability to chew and swallow.
  10. Alternate solids and liquids.  Use a straw for drinking.
  11. Talk pleasantly with your loved one and encourage them to eat.   Offer praise.
  12. When your loved one is finished, remove their napkin or bib and wipe their mouth.
  13. Wash your loved ones’ hands and face.
  14. Offer oral hygiene.
  15. Make sure your loved one is safe and comfortable.
  16. Wash your hands.
  17. Wash all dishes used for the meal.
  18. Clean and straighten the kitchen.

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We All Need to Eat, So Let’s Learn to Shop for Food

 

Family shopping for food|We All Need to Eat, So Let's Learn to Shop for Food

Shopping for Food 

You are responsible for doing the grocery shopping.   Always keep an organized list in the kitchen and write down things when they are empty.   Include things such as items that are replaced often like milk, bread, soap, and toilet tissue.   Also make sure that you purchase things according to the patient’s diet such as low-sodium, sugar substitute, and low-fat foods.   Be sure to check the pantry and refrigerator often for foods that are no longer good and throw them out. Always read the labels on the foods that are purchased to make sure that they follow along with the patients’ diet guidelines.   Think of food shopping as a challenge. Your goal will be to get the most for your patients’ money by purchasing the best quality, most healthful foods and staying within the food budget.

Terms of Food Products

  • Light or lite—50 percent less fat per serving than the regular product
  • Low fat—3 grams of fat or less per serving
  • Fat-free—less than 1 gram of fat per serving
  • Low cholesterol—20 milligrams or less of cholesterol and less than 2 grams of saturated fat per serving
  • Cholesterol free—2 milligrams or less of cholesterol and 2 grams or less of saturated fat per serving
  • Low calorie—40 calories or less per serving
  • Calorie free—less than 5 calories per serving
  • Reduced or less sodium—25 percent or less than the regular product
  • Light in sodium—50 percent or less than the regular product
  • Low sodium—140 milligrams or less of sodium per serving
  • Very low sodium—35 milligrams or less of sodium per serving
  • Sodium free—5 milligrams or less of sodium per serving
  • High fiber—5 grams of more of fiber per serving
  • Good source—contains 10 percent to 19 percent of the daily value for a certain nutrient
  • High in—contains 20 percent or more of the daily value for a certain nutrient

Read moreWe All Need to Eat, So Let’s Learn to Shop for Food

Providing Proper Nutrition as a Caring Caregiver

  Digestion  Important to realize, food is an essential part of life. As a result, it provides the body with energy, as well as raw materials for growth and repair.  Furthermore, most foods are mixtures of large, complex molecules.  Consequently, the body cannot process the food until it’s broken down by the digestive system.  In addition, after … Read more

Cleaning, Caring, and Maintaining a Healthy Environment

                                          The Importance of a Clean Environment A clean environment is an important part of life. Clutter, disorder, dirt, and odors are health and safety hazards. They increase the risk of infections, disease, and accidents that can … Read more

How To Help Our Senior Parents To Be Clean

Caregiver assisting woman with shower|How to help our senior parents to be clean

 

Caregiver assisting woman with shower|How to help our senior parents to be clean

 

To be Fresh and Clean is a Vital Part of the Day

If you are clean and look good, you feel good.  On occasion, we are unable to perform our daily hygiene, such as brushing our teeth, bathing, shampooing, and skin, nail, foot care.  There are many reasons one would not be able to care for themselves, including the following.

  •  Illness
  •  Pain
  •  No energy or strength
  •  Inability to reach
  •  Anxiety
  •  Fear of getting hurt
  •  Confusion
  •  Forgetting how to perform the task

Remember to encourage the patient to assist as much as possible, according to their abilities and limitations.  Give the patient as much privacy and encouragement as possible, also establish a communication system so that the patient feels comfortable with your assistance.

Flossing

Helps to remove food and other things that will cause decay, gum disease, and bad breath.  It Is done before brushing and usually after every meal, to have clean teeth.

Cleaning the Mouth

Cleaning the mouth, teeth, gums, and tongue is good to prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and foul mouth odor.  Brushing your teeth gives your whole mouth a clean and refreshing feeling.  A clean and healthy mouth is very important for good oral hygiene.

Always be observant of the patient’s mouth.  Check the mouth, teeth, gums, and lips for any irritation or sores.  Maintain oral hygiene in the morning, after meals, and at bedtime.

Bathing

Bathing is a very important part of the healing process.  When you are clean, you feel better mentally and physically.  Bathing the body in warm soothing water is beneficial in many ways:

  •  Cleaning the body
  •  Preventing body odor
  •  Soothing aching muscles and joints
  •  Stimulating circulation
  •  Relaxing
  •  Removing stress and tension

The frequency of the bath depends on many things.  If the patient is active and can walk, they will need to bathe daily.  If the patient is bedridden or unconscious, they may require a bed bath, and if the patients are incontinent, they willed to be bathed each time they soil themselves.  All situations are different.  Always, make sure to know if the patient is allergic to any products before using.

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How To Communicate in a Caregiving Crisis

 

Doctor attending to patient|How To Communicate in a Caregiving Crisis

 

Communication

First of all, communication is an important skill for anyone. It’s especially important as a caregiver. Good communication skills will lay the groundwork for your relationship with your patient to provide the best care possible. Your patient needs to feel that you are having a conversation with them—that you respect them—even if they cannot understand everything you are saying.

Communication Is More than Speaking and Listening

Second of all, when we think about communicating, two aspects come to mind immediately—speaking and listening. However, when you are going to speak about important topics with your aging patient, it would be wise to think things through carefully on your own before you actually talk with them. Focus on the specifics of what you want to cover.

In addition, what words we choose to use definitely matter when the topics are emotional ones! Don’t rush the conversation to a conclusion because that could prove frustrating to you and your aging patient. As we age, it takes longer to do things, and that includes thinking things over as ideas unfold. Realize the fact going in and don’t try to rush your patient into making decisions. The goal of this communication is maximizing the patient’s independence.

First Encounters

For this reason, learn about your patients’ background by asking questions of their lives. Also, ask the patient how they would like to spend their time, their likes and dislikes, about their family, etc. Try to find the communication method that works best with each individual patient early in your relationship. Always face your patient when you speak and always maintain eye contact; ask what they think would be good solutions.

Never Be Patronizing

Remember, you are talking to an adult, not a child. It is inportant to realize, the patronizing speech will put older adults on the defensive and convey a lack of respect for them. Put yourself in their shoes and think of how you would want to be spoken to in the situation. Look for answers that optimize strengths and compensate for problems. Be aware of the whole situation; many of the issues of aging can be solved by providing the patient with the support they need.

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