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Eating Alone in the Senior Years

November 8, 2018

The act of eating with others is inherently social.  As seniors age, their social circles change drastically and eating becomes less social and often becomes a tremendous burden.  At one time cooking for a family was a pleasurable chore.  A big mess in your kitchen was a sign of a full and loving home with the family sharing their day around the table.  Then when the kids move out there is the peace in sitting down with your spouse, enjoying a casual meal, tidying up the kitchen together and settling in for the evening.

Unfortunately, for many couples, one spouse passes long before the other, leaving the remaining spouse alone.  Around this time many other social aspects often change.  Seniors are no longer able to get out for dinner after dark with friends, perhaps are not driving, or their friends have passed away.  Their children lead busy lives taking care of their own families and careers and these seniors find themselves alone day after day, night after night.

These seniors are now cooking for one.  The same amount of shopping.  The same amount of prep work.  The same amount of mess.  The same amount of clean up.  However much less joy in the experience of it.

There is the primary issue of simply getting in the necessary nutrition which can be solved many different ways.  Meals on Wheels, the family making and freezing dishes to keep on hand, or making large batches and freezing them yourself.  This solution, however, does not resolve the social aspect of dining, the piece that makes it most pleasurable.

This is the time when many seniors start falling into bad habits and even states of depression.  Unfortunately it’s a vicious cycle.  When a senior stops eating well, they become less energetic, and the less energy one has the less desire they have to prepare or eat meals.

Retirement living changes the dining experience, bringing life back to the simple act of eating.  Not only do seniors start eating more, they are provided healthy choices and variety that their diet has often been lacking for years.  The right retirement home will ensure that the social needs around the dining experience are met.  Be sure to ask questions like, “Do I have to eat with the same people every night?” and “What kinds of choices are provided daily?”  Many retirement residences require residents to eat at the same time every day, others will allow for the resident to choose what time they come down for meals.  Most retirement residences will also encourage you to come for a tour and try a meal as part of the decision making process.  Be sure to ask if this is an option, and take advantage of the opportunity.  You learn a lot about the food, the dining experience, but also the residents who live in the building.

Would you like to try lunch or dinner at Pearl and Pine?  Perhaps an elegant meal in our Elgin Dining Room or a casual pub-style lunch in our Wellington Lounge?  Give us a call!  Try out a meal!  See why the dining experience at Pearl and Pine could change your life or the life of your loved one!

Brenda and Megg, our Retirement Specialists would be happy to make your reservation today!


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