Caregiving Strategy

Nutrition

As a caregiver, you may be responsible for planning and preparing meals. Older adults experiencing frailty have high rates of poor nutrition. Some people find it difficult to make nutritious meals for a person experiencing frailty.

The Nutrition Chapter explores the following topics:

  • The benefits of healthy nutrition.
  • The difference between good nutrition, malnutrition and dehydration.
  • How to recognize eating habits in the person you’re caring for.
  • Reasons why a person’s nutrition might need support.
  • Myths about nutrition and health.
  • Recognizing is a person is at risk for poor nutrition.
  • Recognizing is a person is at risk for dehydration.
  • Strategies for if the person you’re caring for refuses to eat.
  • The link between nutrition and mouth care.
  • Helpful tips when talking to a health care provider about nutrition.
  • How to use meal planning to support healthy nutrition.

Common Terms

Throughout the Nutrition Chapter, we’ll explore the following terms:

Good Nutrition The act of eating a variety of foods necessary for health and growth.
Poor Nutrition/
Malnutrition
A lack of intake of food or nutrients, leading to poor health.
Dehydration A condition that occurs when the body does not have enough water to function properly. It occurs when a person drinks less fluid than the amount of fluid they lose.

Resources to Support Nutrition

  • The Self-Mini Nutritional Assessment (Self-MNA®) is a questionnaire that can be completed by you and the senior you are caring for. This questionnaire can help you recognize malnutrition. 

    Download the Self-MNA
  • Weekly Meal Plan is a sample weekly meal planner created by Dietitians of Canada.

    Download the Weekly Meal Plan
  • Your Oral Health is a webpage created by The Canadian Dental Association that provides information about dental care for seniors and provides tips for caregivers.

    Read about Oral Health
  • The Nutrition Chapter lists additional information, tips, and resources on how to find additional support and communicate with health care professionals.

    Download the Nutrition Chapter

Next Steps

  • Download the Caregiving Strategies Handbook for reference to all chapters in one location.
  • If you want to learn more Caregiving Strategies, register for the online course. This course allows you to work through these topics at your own pace alongside other caregivers.
  • Sign up below if you would like to receive updates from RGPO about resources for caregivers and or upcoming online course offerings.