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If your senior has been dealing with COPD for a while, you may have started to notice that she’s losing weight faster than you can keep it on her. This is common for people with COPD and it can be incredibly disheartening.
It’s a Balance with Nutrition and Calories
Balancing nutrition with the calories your senior needs is a delicate dance. One obvious answer could be to simply load up your elderly family member with tons of calories, but she needs more than just any old calories. She needs protein, healthy fats, and nutritional building blocks to keep her body strong.
Healthy Fats Can Help
Fats are easier for your senior’s body to digest, so they’re a great way to give her more calories and avoid overloading her respiratory system. They’re also flavorful and can be a great way to stimulate her appetite. Start using olive oil vinaigrettes as salad dressings or add avocados to her daily diet.
Lean Proteins Are a Good Choice
Lean proteins, such as chicken or fish, are a better choice than a steady diet of red meat for your senior. You might think that the fat in the meat is helpful, but those types of fats are often higher in cholesterol, which can cause other problems. So leaner proteins, including eggs, can be easier to eat and better for your elderly family member in the long run.
Make Eating as Enjoyable as Possible
Eating is already difficult for your senior. With the pressure of keeping her weight stable, she might find it even tougher to eat the foods she knows she should eat. Do what you can to make meals as enjoyable as possible, including flavors that your elderly family member enjoys and using distractions if they help her to eat a little more.
Keep Meals Small and Frequent
People with COPD are prone to bloating and can experience stomach pain from eating too much food at one time. This happens because their lungs are often inflamed and take up a little more space than they used to. If you can keep meals a little smaller and offer food a little more frequently, this gives her body a chance to digest some of the food she already ate and can help to reduce that bloated feeling.
This can all be really overwhelming for your aging family member. Many people with COPD find that they don’t have much of an appetite, which makes all of this more difficult. Finding a way to manage your senior’s diet might involve hiring home care providers who can gently remind your senior that she needs to eat. They can also ensure that she’s eating healthy food choices during the day.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Home Care in Blythewood, SC, please talk to our caring staff. Call today (803) 223-6173.