Loneliness - and the depression that often accompanyies it - are among the leading causes that can lead to older adults losing their appetite. According to to the Doctor's Health Press, sometimes just the prospect of eating alone is enough to decrease eating in the elderly. When a senior begins to develop a habit of not cooking because they are going to eat alone, it can begin a spiral leading to weight loss, malnutrition and frailness.
Malnutrition has become a growing concern as so much of the United States population ages. Inadequate nutrition intake can result in a number of illnesses that negatively impact the aging community. Weight loss, fatigue, loss of strength, and muscle weakness can develop and lead to falls and broken bones. Malnutrition also impacts memory, depression, and anxiety.
One of the services eHark provides is assistance with meal preparation. These services do more for the senior than just a meal. For those who are unable to easily purchase groceries or prepare their own food, our angels can help them with this. They can also help with meal preparation, something from time immemorial that has been a social activity. Just having someone in the home along with the smell of cooking can provide a boost to a senior. Batches can be prepared and foods selected that make it easier to chew if a senior is having a problem with their dentures or facing other physical challenges. This kind of help can go a long way to assuring you that your loved one is receiving better nutrition, and that they have the food that they need. Meals can be prepared and then pureed, thickened, or cut into manageable pieces. While our angels are not nutritionists, working with a senior or yourselves can go a long way towards providing for a common-sense menu that's tasty and works.
Along with meal safety and nutrition, having a person to assist with meal preparation can bring much needed companionship. Older adults tend to lose interest in cooking and eating when there is no one there to share with them. Companionship helps to improve appetite as well. Having an eHark angel help your loved one with the gift of cooking can make a significant difference to the quality of their lives.
For people who are interested in providing these services to the elderly and joining eHark as an angel, please take a look at our careers page.