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Nutrition Tips for Older Adults Who Have Had Strokes

By Melissa Hill, 9:00 am on

Seniors recovering from strokes can face a few challenges such as the inability to eat on their own. However, with the help of a few dietary changes, older adults can manage stroke symptoms and speed up recovery. Caregivers should encourage their loved ones to make healthy lifestyle choices that keep recurrent strokes at bay.

Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Oklahoma Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.

Here are a few nutrition tips for senior stroke survivors.

Choosing the Right Foods

To reduce the likelihood of a second stroke, seniors should focus on their cardiovascular health. A healthy diet can speed up your loved one’s recovery and lower risk factors such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and obesity.

Encourage your loved one to eat a low-sodium diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, and lean meats. If possible, add at least two servings of fish per week to your loved one’s diet.

Add fresh herbs and spices to your loved one’s diet to stimulate his or her appetite. Following the stroke, your loved one may prefer foods that are more intense in flavor.

Managing Swallowing Difficulties and Mobility Challenges

Residual paralysis following a stroke can make it difficult for your loved one to swallow food and hold utensils. Here are a few ways you can help your loved one manage eating difficulties and mobility issues:

  • Consider purchasing adaptive utensils, plates, and cups designed for individuals with limited mobility. Give your loved one enough time to finish meals independently.
  • Choose foods that are soft and easy to chew. In some cases, it may be necessary to thicken liquids or puree foods to make swallowing easier for your senior loved one. Your loved one’s doctor can make recommendations regarding the consistency of foods and beverages.
  • Precut your loved one’s food into small, bite-sized pieces.

Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Oklahoma seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.

Managing the Loss of Appetite

Experiencing a stroke can alter an individual’s taste, which may lead to a decrease in appetite. You can help your loved one overcome the loss of appetite in the following ways:

  • Encourage your loved one to eat small snacks or meals throughout the day instead of three large meals. This will ensure he or she gets adequate nutrition without becoming physically exhausted.
  • Try to make your loved one’s eating environment relaxed and pleasant. You should also eliminate distractions so your loved one can focus on the task of eating.
  • Prepare delicious foods for your loved one and make the dining table setup visually appealing.

When recovering from a stroke, seniors often need extensive assistance once they return home from the hospital. Oklahoma stroke care professionals are available 24/7 to help seniors maintain a high quality of life while managing the challenges of stroke recovery. If your loved one needs assistance while recovering from a stroke, call Home Care Assistance at 405-285-4191 today.