August is Gastroparesis Awareness Week. Gastroparesis is a condition of the digestive tract that impacts the muscles that help food move through the digestive tract. As a result, the stomach doesn’t empty the way it should. This can cause nausea, vomiting, and problems with controlling blood sugar levels. It can also cause complications like dehydration and malnutrition. In addition to the medical treatment needed for this condition, there are things you can help your aging relative to do at home to better control gastroparesis. Below are some tips for coping with the condition.
Work with a Dietician
Ask the senior’s doctor for a referral to a dietician. A dietician can devise a personalized eating plan that supports the nutritional needs of the older adult. This can help to protect against malnutrition and give caregivers and seniors a better idea of foods that work with the condition.
Change the Foods the Senior Eats
The Mayo Clinic recommends choosing foods that are easy to digest. Some of the foods they suggest are:
- White breads or “light” wheat breads that don’t have nuts or seeds.
- Potatoes without the skin.
- Lean cuts of beef, veal, or pork. Meats should not be fried.
- Chicken or turkey without the skin and not fried.
- Cottage cheese.
- Cooked carrots, beets, or mushrooms.
- Vegetable juice or broth.
- Fruit juice.
- Canned peaches or pears.
- Yogurt without chunks of fruit.
- Custard or pudding.
Eat Smaller Meals
Most people eat three big meals each day. However, with a condition like gastroparesis, eating small meals more frequently may work better. Offer your aging relative small meals every couple of hours. Although this may feel more like snacking, avoid serving snack foods that don’t offer nutritious. Instead, pack every small meal with as much nutrition as possible and keep the senior’s diet balanced by offering foods from every group throughout the day.
Because dehydration may occur with gastroparesis, it’s important that your aging relative get plenty of liquids throughout the day. Although water is important, you can also serve foods that contain more liquid to help with hydration, such as soup or juicy fruit. In addition, serve drinks that contain nutrients, like vegetable or fruit juice.
Use Senior Care
The dietary needs of someone with gastroparesis can be time consuming and challenging. In addition, some of the symptoms can be difficult to deal with. Senior care can assist older adults to live more comfortably and remain healthier. Senior care providers can prepare food throughout the day and ensure your aging relative gets enough liquids. Senior care providers can also allow them to rest when needed by assisting them with household tasks, like cleaning or doing laundry. Finally, if the older adult is experiencing symptoms like vomiting, a senior care provider can assist them until they feel better.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering Senior Care Deer Park , WA please contact the caring staff at Angel Senior Care today at (509) 326-4357.