Home Care Packages supporting healthy eating for seniors
Australian nutritionists and health professionals are warning of a looming malnutrition crisis among older Australians. As a home care provider, our services include meal preparation to support healthy eating for seniors.
The latest figures from the Royal Commission indicate that nearly 2 percent of hospitalisations are due to weight loss and malnutrition.
According to data from the Dietitians Association of Australia, approximately 4,000 elderly Australians were hospitalised for weight loss and malnutrition in just 12 months, which is a cause for concern. (Source: SBS Chinese)
Symptoms of malnutrition:
Healthy eating for seniors is crucial in preventing malnutrition. Here are some symptoms to watch out for:
- Rapid weight loss of 2.5kg to 5kg within one month.
- Significant reduction in food intake, loss of appetite, mild nausea, vomiting or abdominal distension occurring within a week.
- Chronic constipation or difficulty with bowel movements and diarrhea.
- Blood sugar fluctuations and poor diet control.
- Difficulty swallowing, acid reflux and heartburn.
- Osteoporosis, fatigue and increased susceptibility to falls.
If any of these symptoms occur, it is important to seek professional help from a doctor. To prevent malnutrition, promoting healthy eating for seniors is of utmost importance.
There are several factors that contribute to malnutrition, including health conditions and eating habits. Here at our home care service, we not only provide support for your care needs but also prioritise healthy eating for seniors.
- Factor 1: Caused by disease.
- Factor 2: Tooth loss, decreased chewing and swallowing ability.
- Factor 3: Uneven nutrition.
- Factor 4: Unhappy mood, affecting your eating intake.
Because of these factors, we are not only here to support your home care needs, but also healthy eating for seniors.
How a Home Care Package can support healthy eating for seniors:
During the initial stage of applying for a Home Care Package (HCP), a comprehensive assessment is conducted, which includes evaluating 11 different needs. One of these needs is related to nutrition and healthy eating for seniors. If an elderly person is assessed as having a nutritional need, their Home Care Package can provide assistance in the following ways:
Meal preparation by a Support Worker:
Our Support Workers can prepare meals based on recommendations from doctors and dietitians. For example, if Grandma Lee is 160cm tall, weighs 45kg and is underweight, the doctor may recommend increasing her protein and meat intake. If Grandma Lee doesn’t like red meat, our Support Worker can prepare meals with chicken, fish and other soy products to ensure she receives adequate nutrition. At Happy Living, you have the flexibility to change your Support Worker if needed, as long as they have the necessary qualifications, up-to-date insurance and have undergone a criminal background check.
Your Home Care Package may cover the cost of a dietitian if the senior has undergone surgery, experienced illness or encountered unexpected weight changes.
Home Care Manager and Clinical Team:
If you have received a Home Care Package and experience a sudden weight change within a short period, it is important to contact your Care Manager immediately. They will report the issue to the Clinical Team, who will reassess your care needs and update your care plan based on advice from your doctor and dietitian. We are committed to supporting healthy eating for seniors and meeting your nutritional needs. Remember to drink enough water every day, as it prevents dehydration, constipation and the formation of kidney stones, while also flushing out toxins. Water is an essential part of a healthy diet since 50-80% of the body is composed of water.
We hope this was helpful, and as always make sure you stay safe while cooking and make sure you seek some help if required.
The whole team will work on recovering your health care needs with our Home Care Package service.
You are welcome to contact Happy Living or download a free information kit. Our customer service number is 1300 911 728 (Mandarin, Cantonese, English). We have many years of industry experience and look forward to helping you and can also guide you through the My Aged Care process.