If you are a new caregiver for one of your relatives and have discovered that you need to prepare the majority of the food your relative will be consuming on a daily basis, then it is important that you take many things into account. To help make the process easier for you, follow these time-tested tips:
Enlist the Help of Your Relative and Meal Plan One Week at a Time
When you are planning meals for your relative, you should only plan for one week's meals at a time. Sit together and make a list of the meals your relative would like to eat. From this list, create a grocery shopping list. If your relative is able to go to the grocery store with your assistance, then you should take them along. This will get your relative out of the house for a bit and this helps with the depression that comes with being home all of the time.
Let Your Relative Help You Prepare Their Food If Possible
If your relative is physically able to help prepare their own foods, then you should absolutely let them help you. Even if they can only cut ingredients while sitting in their recliner in front of the television, you should have them do so. Being involved in the preparation of their food will help to ensure that your relative will make the effort to eat the food that was prepared.
Prepare Foods for When You Are Not Present
Since your relative will need to eat some meals and snacks when you are not present, it is vital that you prepare things they can easily work with. For example, you can cut up some cheese, fruits, and vegetables and leave them in the refrigerator so all your relative needs to do is take them out and they are ready to eat. You can also place individual portions of hot foods into microwavable containers so all your relative will need to do is quickly pop them into the microwave for a healthy meal.
Seek Professional Assistance if Necessary
Finally, since care-giving can be overwhelming and very time consuming, you may find that you become frustrated with the process or stressed out about your lack of time each day to do everything you need for your own life and family members. If you find that you are struggling to get everything done for your relative and your own family, then you should consider hiring a professional caregiver or working with a care-giving agency to get some help. A professional caregiver can come to your relative's home and help prepare their food for them, help with household tasks, and fill in for you when you need to be with your own family or at work.