Sub-Acute Care Team – The Dietitian
Following a stroke or a serious illness that affects a person’s ability to eat, the member on the health care team responsible for teaching the patient about healthy eating for seniors and any special diet, will be the dietitian.
The dietitian focuses on healthy eating for seniors and teaches patients with different eating issues how to get around problems. Dietary requirements for a patient are individual, but recommendations usually follow a general set of dietary guidelines for post-stroke patients.
This article also discusses some changes you might make in the daily living activities you do, as it relates to meal preparation and nutrition, when you return home from the hospital or rehab center.
- It is important that the you eat well following a stroke, in order to strengthen the body and aid recovery.
- Foods eaten should be healthy, nutritious foods that give energy for therapy sessions and activities that you enjoy.
- The dietitian can help you plan simple, nutritious meals that are easy to prepare, after you return home from the hospital or rehab center.
- Portion control is important. If a person is leading a more sedentary lifestyle, their calorific needs will be reduced. You need to be aware of the balance between activity and eating so as not to become overweight.
- Plan to eat the largest meal earlier on in the day, as the body will have time to digest it. The last meal of the day should be the smallest meal.
- To support a healthy eating lifestyle, eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. You can buy pre-washed, pre-cut produce, which makes healthy food preparation a lot easier.
- Family and friends can join in supporting you by preparing healthy meals, and these can be stored in portion-sized containers in the freezer.
- Use small electric appliances such as egg-boilers, juicers, mini-food processors, can-openers and so on, to make meal preparation easier and more interesting.
- Place a rotating tray (a Lazy Susan) on the table, counter top or in a cabinet to make utensils or ingredients more accessible.
- A trolley can be used to transport several items across the kitchen in one go. This can be useful for setting and clearing off the table.
- Pay attention of whether your counters or tables are now at the right height for you. Opening drawers and putting a board across the top could be a temporary solution. Ultimately, make sure that you have counters at a suitable height for easy and safe access.
Knowledge is Valuable
Read up about diets and nutrition, to stay ahead of the curve. You can look up “healthy nutrition” or “healthy eating for seniors” on the internet. Another idea is to request information from the state health department or local senior services. Stroke-support groups are a source of support for nutrition information and other aspects of activities of daily living for when you are living at home.
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