Older people can often face difficultly accessing a nourishing meal. Throughout November, Edinburgh Community Food have been delivering a weekly community meal for older adults at The Ripple Project Community Café. These are taking place every Wednesday evening until 1st December. If you or someone you know would benefit from this, please feel welcome come along at 4.30 pm until 6.30pm for a blether and a 2-course meal followed by teas and coffees.
During winter it can be more challenging for an older person to stay well. As we age, our bodies react differently to the cold making it harder to manage some health conditions and more difficult to fight infections. Good nutrition can make a big difference to an older person’s wellbeing throughout the year but especially during the winter months. There are a few things we can do as a family member or friend of older people to help them maintain good health during the winter months.
Some tips from Louise Cairns, the ECF nutritionist who is working with the Ripple is to add pulses such as lentils or beans to soups and stews. This will increase the protein content which supports maintenance of muscle mass but also wound healing and illness recovery. Importantly, adding pulses also adds extra fibre to the meal which can help to prevent constipation. “If we feel someone is potentially not eating enough, try to ensure that their meals are full of nutrition and energy so that every mouthful is providing nourishment. Adding a little cream or butter to mash potato, soups or grating cheese over pies and stews can add extra nutritious calories that someone may be missing.”
When it comes to food, it can really help to be social. Eating together and talking can make meal times an occasion to look forward to! This can really help boost people’s moods which can increase their appetite and motivation to eat.
Edinburgh Community Food have a range of pre-portioned Take & Make DIY meal kits available to purchase. Many are suitable for slow cookers and freezing. We also have a variety of recipes on our website to help with cooking inspiration!
For more help on supporting visit older relatives or a group in your community visit Eat Well, Age Well, a project set up by Food Train to tackle malnutrition in older people living at home.