Seniors who live alone typically eat alone, which puts them at a greater risk of malnutrition. Cooking for one can be difficult, as most recipes are designed to feed an average family of four. It’s also not as rewarding to make a meal for one person. Therefore, many seniors resort to snacking throughout the day instead of cooking the recommended three meals a day. Here we’ll look at how eating alone can be both mentally and physically unhealthy, and what can be done to deter this risky behavior.
Risks of Eating Alone
When we eat alone, we generally do not eat as well as we would with a friend, family member or partner. Some seniors are used to cooking for their family or partner, and when they do live alone, may find it hard to transition to cooking for one. When you lose your motivation for cooking, it’s easy to fall short on nutrition. Some seniors in senior living in chicago may not be concerned about eating balanced meals, and may even skip meals altogether.
Due to an absence of conversation during meals, many seniors may begin eating in front of the television for stimulation. While okay on occasion, eating in front of a TV makes us less aware of what we put in our mouths. Seniors who eat while watching television are more likely to eat unbalanced meals and foods that are lacking in nutrition. Eating the wrong foods can also have a direct effect on your overall health.
Poor nutrition has been linked to a weakened immune system, weight loss, and poor bone and muscle health. For seniors, these risks can be detrimental due to other issues like falling. If an accident did occur, a senior with malnutrition would be more likely to break a bone or suffer from prolonged healing. Poor nutrition can also have other effects that seniors may not notice right away, such as an increase in cholesterol and blood pressure. Over time, these risks can cause a decline in a senior’s wellbeing.
Better Eating Habits
It takes time and effort, but it is possible to change your eating habits to achieve a healthier body and mind. Of course, choosing healthy foods to eat and consuming balanced meals is key. However, there are ways to making eating more exciting. If you live in senior housing, join other residents in the dining hall for your meals, or mix it up and eat at the park. It can also be fun to try new recipes or eat with friends at local eateries or meal functions. In some situations, eating alone is unavoidable. Make eating special times of the day when you can relax and enjoy a delicious meal.