Cooking may be something that your elderly family member has done for a long time on her own. Whether she loves it or simply tolerates it, cooking might be getting more difficult for your senior to do easily on her own. Finding some ways to make cooking easier can make it more appealing and safer, to boot.
Prep Ingredients for Her
Whenever possible, try to prepare ingredients for your senior in advance. This is especially helpful if she has trouble holding a knife well or for longer periods of time. If time is a big issue for you, too, then consider buying ingredients pre-chopped. This can save a ton of time and effort and still make sure that your elderly family member is able to cook healthy meals.
Find Recipes for One-dish Meals
If your elderly family member is cooking recipes that involve lots of different cooking methods, utensils, or pots, then cooking is going to be more challenging for her. One way around this is for her to cook meals that are one-dish meals. Even slow cooker or pressure cooker meals make cooking fun and yet use a minimum of utensils. Using slow cooker liners inside the well can even help with cleanup later.
Choose Recipes that Reheat Well
Your elderly family member’s appetite might fluctuate a bit and she may occasionally cook more than she can eat. Freezing those meals in individual serving containers allows her to save meals for later. Be sure to help your senior look for meals that reheat well to make that even easier. If you do freeze them, make sure to label each container so there’s no doubt about what’s in it or how to reheat the food.
Hire Elder Care Providers to Help
Elder care providers can help immensely when your aging adult is having trouble in the kitchen. They can lend a helping hand or take over meal preparation for your senior, whichever she prefers. If your elderly family member really wants to do as much as possible on her own, they’re there to make sure that she’s as safe as possible.
Cooking can keep your elderly family member mentally and physically more active. It’s also an important way to make sure that she knows what she’s eating. For some aging adults, not knowing what’s in their food can contribute to paranoia about food, which is not something you want to happen.