Crawford Care Management

Recognizing Nutritional Problems

Question:
I’m concerned about my mother. Much of the food in her refrigerator is outdated and spoiled. The last time I visited her, I had to throw away nearly everything except condiments. She also looks thinner than the last time I visited. I’m afraid her nutrition has declined.

Answer:
Does your mother have reliable transportation to the store or somebody who shops for her? If not, you could help by arranging for and possibly paying someone to help your mother keep a well-stocked pantry and refrigerator.

The problem, however, could be that your mother is forgetting to eat. Or she can no longer tell the difference between spoiled and unspoiled food. Sensitivity of taste and smell declines with age, and it’s the sweet and salty taste buds that are the first to go. For some, this means all foods will taste sour or bitter. Talk to your mother and find out if she’s aware that food is going bad. She may be able to offer some insight into the problem.

Regardless, it’s probably best to take her to a physician to find out if there’s something more serious going on. She could be suffering from depression, which is known to diminish a person’s appetite. Or perhaps she’s having dental problems that limit the types of foods she can eat. It could be a simple explanation or a more serious one requiring medical attention.

This is the perfect time to bring in a Broadspire care manager for a full assessment to help determine the source of the problem. A care manager can recommend options for treatment, can assess your mother’s living arrangements and provide assistance in your absence. Remember also that community programs help provide people such as your mother, with well-balanced meals at a minimum cost. Meals on Wheels, is one such organization. Again, a Broadspire care manager can help you and your mother seek the appropriate community resources.