Proper nutrition is important for everyone, but, for a patient who is elderly or dealing with the after-effects of chemotherapy or other treatment, the right nutrients are absolutely essential. While the following tips are just a few of the many covered in home health aide training in NYC, they are a great starting point for understanding the value of nutrition for patients.
A Team Effort
Whether your medical assistant training in NYC has found you caring for patients in their home or in the hospital, food preparation should be something you and your patients work on as a team. This will ensure that your patients aren’t left to figure out a proper diet on their own.
Working as a team, you can learn about any pre-existing dietary conditions prior to needing home or hospital care, in addition to their current recommended diet. You can learn about any other dietary restrictions for religious reasons, as well as those imposed due to personal taste.
Diet During Treatment
If your patients are undergoing certain medical treatments, they may experience many changes which can affect their enjoyment of food. For example, chemotherapy can cause taste and smell changes, in addition to several other symptoms.
Changes to taste may require NYC home health aides to marinate or season foods before cooking. If red meat is intolerable, white meat can offer nutrition without a strong taste. For changes in smell, serve foods cold or at room temperature. You may also want to ensure that food preparation and eating areas are well-ventilated.
The Senior Diet
Elderly patients will require two weekly meals that are high in Omega-3 fatty acids. Flaxseed oil, fish, and walnuts are a few of many ways to ensure your patient receives these needed nutrients.
Calcium is another major requirement of the senior diet and is available in almond milk, fortified orange juice, and some leafy greens. Supplementation may be needed where it is difficult for patients to consume the calcium they need through food.
Medical assistant programs in NYC stress the importance of low-sodium foods for seniors with high blood pressure. Sodium can be limited by serving non-processed foods and, instead, choosing fresh fruit and vegetables, unsalted nuts, oats, and brown rice.
Patient Preference for Food Preparation
The way food is prepared is also crucial. If prepared according to patients’ preferences, they will be more likely to consume food and get the nutrition they need. That being said, getting creative by adding extras like spices may not get the ideal reaction from your patients.
Regardless of the medical condition your patients are dealing with, hydration will be a very important contributor to their overall health. Their urine should be clear and light. Dark and cloudy urine will indicate the need for more liquids in their diet.
Getting the right medical assistant certification in NYC will ensure your patients receive the best possible nutrition. ABC Training Centers can help you start your dream career; learn more about our classes today.