Comfort Keepers® Franchisees Raise Awareness on Senior Malnutrition During Hunger Action Month
Comfort Keepers franchisees across the nation are educating families to WATCH to detect the signs of malnutrition in the growing population of older Americans. WATCH is a mnemonic that makes it easier to remember the five steps families should remember when observing their loved ones for nutrition problems:
- Watch for physical problems. Look for bruising, dental difficulties, or sudden or sustained weight gain or weight loss.
- Ask seniors about their eating habits. How have their tastes or preferences changed?
- Talk to a doctor. Discuss nutritional needs or problems specific to the loved ones’ unique needs or management of diseases.
- Check with a pharmacist. They can warn you of the potential for drug-food interactions.
- Have your visits during mealtime. This is the best time to observe eating habits first-hand.
Comfort Keepers national in-home caregiving network is working to raise awareness for the growing epidemic of senior malnutrition and undernutrition through a new STOP Senior Hunger campaign. In addition to educating about WATCH, Comfort Keepers franchisees are conducting STOP Senior Hunger food drives, participating in health fairs and sponsoring educational programs.
“The implications of an inadequate diet are serious for seniors,” said Jim Booth, CEO of CK Franchising, Inc., the franchisor of Comfort Keepers. “Family and professional caregivers can help seniors stay nourished by being there to socialize during mealtime, providing transportation and assistance in grocery shopping, and helping with meal preparation.”
Booth said Comfort Keepers – the name he gives to the thousands of in-home caregivers employed by locally owned and operated franchise office locations nationwide – see first-hand how a lack of adequate nutrition can lead to diminished independence in seniors. Proper nutrition, along with physical fitness and maintaining an appropriate weight, can help reduce seniors’ risk for falls and diseases, and can improve energy levels, according to the Mayo Clinic.