We are proud to announce that we just hired two PhD Nutritionists to train our caregivers in nutrition and health for seniors. They will be working with our caregivers over the next several months. They will show our caregivers how to prepare very healthy meals for our residents.
At a Paradise for Parents we consider nutrition a very important part of maintaining the health of our residents. The human body has an amazing ability to heal itself. It just needs the right raw materials to do so. That’s why we want to work with all the wonderful medical people who already work with our residents to further enhance our resident’s health through nutrition.
We’ve been trying to help our residents eat healthy for quite some time. Our meals have consisted of lots of vegetables, some fruits and very little sugar. There have been some good results so far. We’ve seen lower:
- Blood sugars
- Blood pressures
Exercise and Health
Now it’s time to implement a more formal program of nutrition and health. Two weeks ago we started taking some of our more active residents to our local Silver Sneakers program at Westside Total Fitness in Surprise, AZ.
We’re working with our transportation company to make this a regular program. It helps our residents improve their health. It also lets them get out of the house more and enjoy socializing with others.
Going Slow with the Nutrition and Health Program
Our nutritionists Diane and Julie suggested we start slow. And we waited until after the Holidays to start. We figured there might be some resistance if we started during Christmas!
The program started yesterday by interviewing residents and some family members. The questions included:
- How would life look if you had no physical limitations?
- What do you miss doing?
- Can you list your favorite foods?
- What foods disagree with you?
The purpose of the questions like the first two is to motivate our residents to see the benefits of being in a nutrition and health program. The questions like the second two are to help tailor meal plans that the residents will like.
We also had a list of measurements for our residents (blood sugar, blood pressure, weight etc.). Normally we take this measurements as part of our care plan. By tracking these measurements, we can see how effective this program is.
Julie also started training our manager on preparation techniques for healthy food that will help out in the kitchen. One of the family members also dove in and joined us. We loved that!
The feedback from families and residents on this new program has been very positive. Everyone seems to understand that nutrition and health are very closely connected. I will try to provide updates in the form of blog posts as we make progress in this nutrition and health program. Hopefully we can help out more elderly people than just our residents. Please feel free to leave comments, suggestions and ideas below.