Age-related issues like mobility constraints, vision problems, dementia, and chronic illness can increase the risk of foodborne illness, accidental poisoning, choking, and allergic reactions during mealtimes.
As an agency that provides reliable home care in Arlington, Virginia, here are a few things families can do to promote safety and security for their elderly loved ones during mealtimes:
- Remove Decorative Food
Food-shaped decorations like plastic fruits and food-shaped magnets are a choking hazard and poisoning hazard for aging adults, especially those with memory or sensory issues.
- Monitor the Pantry and Food-Storage Regularly
Eating expired or contaminated food can affect seniors more severely because their immune systems may not be as strong as they used to be. Families should check their pantry, fridge, and other food storage for expired and contaminated food every day. If any look off or strange, it is better to err on the side of caution and throw them away. Services like private care could also assist with food monitoring at home.
- Wash Fruits and Vegetables Properly
Unwashed fruits and vegetables may harbor germs, unwanted residue, or preservatives that can increase the risk of foodborne illness or allergies. Remember to always wash them thoroughly before serving them during mealtimes.
- Always Wash Your Hands Before Mealtime
Make sure to always wash your hands with soap and water before handling, preparing, or eating food to reduce the risk of foodborne illness, viral infections, and accidental poisonings.
These tips can help keep mealtimes safe, comfortable, and delicious for your elderly loved ones.