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5 Hacks for Making Meal Time Easier

Posted: 8/10/2018 5:36 AM by Interim HealthCare
Family caregivers perform a lot of tasks for their older family members. Among them is making sure they eat nutritious meals and snacks. However, it can be difficult for you to be there every time they want something to eat. In addition, it’s likely your aging relative wants to be as independent for as long as possible. The problem is that there are problems with aging that can make it difficult for older adults to do things in the kitchen on their own. Below are 5 hacks to make meal times easier for your aging relative or parent to navigate on their own.
 
#1 Open Jars with Tennis Balls
Hand grip is an issue for older adults with arthritis or whose grip is weakened due to muscle loss. It can make opening jars difficult or even impossible. To assist with grip, try cutting a tennis ball apart to use as a grip assistant on slipper lids. Cut the tennis ball following the white line. Place a cut half over the lid of the jar and twist.
 
#2 Turn a Clothespin into a Straw Anchor
If your aging relative needs to use a straw to drink, getting hold of a straw that moves freely around the cup can be hard. This is especially true if the senior has vision problems on top of manual dexterity issues. To help, glue a piece of rubber tubing about an inch in length to a clip-on clothespin. Epoxy glue works best. Make sure the tubing is wide enough to easily slip a straw through. Clip the clothespin to the edge of the glass, slide the straw through the tubing, and you’ve got a straw that doesn’t move around the glass!
 
#3 No-Spill Beverage Station
Lifting milk jugs or orange juice cartons is hard for older adults with weakened muscles. To eliminate the need to lift jugs and cartons, create a no-spill beverage station right inside the refrigerator. Put a placemat on the shelf of the refrigerator. Place non-stick pad or cupboard liner on top of the placemat. Now, there’s no need to lift the beverages. They can just be tilted forward to pour and the bottom edge won’t slip.
 
#4 Simple Drawer Openers
Small knobs on kitchen cabinets can be difficult to grasp. You could take the time and spend the money to replace all of the hardware in the kitchen, or you could try a much simpler, less expensive trick. Purchase plastic hooks with stick on backings, such as the ones made by 3M, and adhere them horizontally to the cupboard doors. Now, the older adult can slip the edge of their hand behind the hook and pull it open without needing to grasp a tiny knob.
 
#5 Get Help from Home Care
When you can’t be there to assist your older family member because of work or other responsibilities, home care can. Home care providers can prepare healthy meals and snacks for the older adult. Or, home can help with the parts of cooking that hard while also allowing the senior to remain as independent as possible. If your loved one has physical or cognitive disabilities that make it hard for them to eat unassisted, a home care provider can even help them to feed themselves.

Learn more about home care.
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