Seniors & Nutrition

A Q&A with Hany Sourial, MD, about seniors and nutrition

Dr. Sourial is the Medical Director of Heritage Manor Nursing Home and Southgate behavior-management unit at Christian Health Care Center

Q. My father has Alzheimer’s disease. I’ve noticed a change in his eating habits. Is this normal?

“Alzheimer’s disease can affect eating. In early stages, a person may lose skills required to prepare meals or even forget to eat. As the disease progresses, appetite may swing in the opposite direction to the point where the individual wants to constantly consume food. In later stages, swallowing may become extremely difficult. At Christian Health Care Center, care plans for individuals with Alzheimer’s include a major focus on nutrition and meal time.

Q. My father lives alone, and he doesn’t like to cook. I’m worried that he is not receiving proper nutrition.

“It is not uncommon to see a decline in nutrition status among seniors, especially those who live alone. Fortunately, many options are available for individuals like your father, as well as for those who don’t like to cook.

  • Most grocery stores offer home-delivery services. Orders may be placed via phone or Internet, so you can place an order for your father if he is unable to do so.
  • Swap services with one of your father’s friends or neighbors. In return for grocery shopping or preparing meals, perhaps your father can take in mail or watch a toddler for an hour.
  • Meals on Wheels is an excellent option. Christian Health Care Center participates in the program by preparing meals; last year the Center provided nearly 16,000 meals for seniors in our area. For more information about this program, call (201) 848-4463 or email khock@chccnj.org.”

For more information about seniors and nutrition, call (201) 848-4463, email khockstein@chccnj.org, or visit our Senior Living and Publications sections.

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