A lack of interest in cooking in the elderly is usually about more than just food. (submitted)

A lack of interest in cooking in the elderly is usually about more than just food. (submitted)

Column: Chris Wilkinson: It’s more than just a meal

By Chris Wilkinson

I was speaking with a friend this week who mentioned that their grandma hasn’t been cooking much anymore. Hasn’t been eating well as a result. It’s concerning to the family members. And my friend’s grandma even confessed to family that she doesn’t feel interested in cooking meals anymore.

Sound familiar? Do you have an aging loved one in the same scenario?

Indeed, this is a very common finding amongst our elderly loved ones. The lack of interest and desire in cooking meals. And the result is a lack of nutrition.

This leads to lack of cellular nutrition, lack of energy, reduction in strength and endurance — and potential risks like dizziness and a fall.

When falls in seniors are the No. 1 reason for having to move into a nursing home, this is a big deal!

Now, when you read above that my friend’s grandma was not wanting to cook anymore, was your ‘Spidey-sense’ going off a little? Did you interpret it as slightly more than just ‘not wanting to cook’? You see, I think it’s more than just not wanting to cook. In my experience, the side effects of living alone and lack of social interactions leads to a loss of energy/zeal for life. A loss of inspiration to keep active with healthy habits going. A general malaise. This can lead to further isolation and loneliness, which we all know is rampant among the population of our aging loved ones.

So what can we do about it? Consider that it’s the little things that add up to be big things. So if you have an aging loved one who is living on their own, and not cooking healthy meals or not keeping up with some aspect of daily living, think of something small you can do for them this week. A phone call. A card.

If they live close, drop off some nutritious meal leftovers. Or better yet, invite them over for lunch or dinner.

Make your family just a little bit more complete one night each week. Not only will you brighten their day, you may even impact them on a deeper and more important level. Break a cycle of loneliness.

Healthier, happier living. It’s more than just a phone call. It’s more than just a meal. You can make a difference.

Chris Wilkinson is the owner/GM for Nurse Next Door Home Care Services for Cowichan and central Vancouver Island. For more info visit www.NurseNextDoor.com or for questions or a free in-home Caring Consult call 250-748-4357, or email Cowichan@NurseNextDoor.com