While food safety matters at all ages, it’s especially important for your parents. They need to be careful about how the cook items, how they clean their kitchen, and how their groceries are stored.
Aging impacts the body, and one of those changes is that digestion slows. If your mom or dad eats a food that is contaminated or improperly cooked, the bacteria or parasite within the food stays in the digestive tract longer than it would in a young adult. That increases the risk of issues from food poisoning.
Common Types of Foodborne Illnesses
Salmonella and E. coli are two of the common types of food poisoning or foodborne illnesses. There are others like listeria, giardia, and norovirus.
To lower the risk, wash all produce. Cooking vegetables can kill some bacteria, parasites, and viruses. If your parents like food made with raw fish, such as sushi, it’s best to avoid it. If they can’t live without sushi, stick to the vegetarian or cooked versions like avocado roll or shrimp tempura roll.
Make sure meats are cooked to safe temperatures. Poultry and ground poultry must be cooked to 165 degrees F. Ground meats like pork, lamb, and beef need to be at 160 degrees F. Pork and beef must be over 145 degrees F. Fish also needs to be over 145 degrees F.
Risks of Food Poisoning and Foodborne Illnesses
Most foodborne illnesses cause diarrhea and vomiting. That may seem normal, but it increases the risk of dehydration. Most elderly adults do not have the same sense of thirst as a younger adult, so they may not realize they’re dehydrated until it’s affecting their health.
Check your parents by pulling up the skin on the back of the hand and seeing if it bounces back. Monitor how much they’re drinking versus how much they’re expelling. If you have concerns, call the doctor and see if it’s worth bringing your mom or dad to be seen.
Hire Caregivers for Kitchen Chores
Are your parents making mistakes when it comes to preparing their meals, cleaning up after, and putting foods away after a meal or shopping trip? Would it be better for them to have help with groceries and meal preparation? Senior care services are worth a closer look.
Caregivers will come to your parents’ home and help them plan a weekly menu. They can help your parents get to a grocery store and pick out items. Caregivers can carry the bags in and put groceries away.
When it’s time for a meal or snack, caregivers can prepare them, too. They’ll do the dishes for your parents when the meal is over. Call a senior care agency to schedule meal preparation and grocery shopping transportation.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Senior Care in Hazlet, NJ, please contact the caring staff at Lares Home Care 888-492-3538 or 732-566-1112.