When it comes to seniors and nutrition, COVID-19 may be making a bad situation worse. Research conducted by Home Instead, before the coronavirus pandemic forced the added isolation of so many, revealed that 75 percent of lonely seniors in the U.S. (69 percent in Canada) already were not getting the right amount of at least one element of nutrition.The coronavirus, which may be worsening loneliness for many older adults, could further jeopardize a senior’s ability to shop for and prepare healthy meals, according to nutritionist Shannon Muhs. In fact, loneliness is one of several warning signs of nutritional risk. However, one positive may have resulted from the current situation, Muhs noted. Many are getting a lesson in empathy. “Everyone is learning about loneliness and how to cope and deal with it,” Muhs said. Muhs offers the following tips for helping to ensure a senior is getting a healthy diet during isolation.5 Tips to Ensure Isolated Older Adults get a Healthy Diet
Meals can be a great time to reminisce, even if it’s from a distance, noted Home Instead Senior Care Gerontologist and Caregiver Advocate Lakelyn Hogan. “Ask your loved ones about the foods they grew up with or how the super markets have changed over time. Or make the same meal --- such as spaghetti – ahead of time, enjoy it together virtually and share recipes.” Conversation starters to kick off dinner could help during this time of social distancing. For more about nutrition and seniors, visit CravingCompanionship.com and SundayDinnerPledge.com.