The Best Easy to Chew Foods for Elderly People

Eating is one of the most important things we do. Eating not only provides us with sustenance, but it also gives us a sense of satisfaction and pleasure. For elderly people who have difficulty chewing solid foods, this can be difficult to enjoy on their own. But there are Easy to chew foods for elderly people that they can eat without much fuss or trouble!

The Best Easy to Chew Foods for Elderly People

Believe it or not, many senior citizens still have their teeth – not all wear dentures! In fact, more than 60 percent of all seniors have all or some of their natural teeth. There are several unique issues that affect the care and preservation of an elderly person’s teeth.

The Best Easy to Chew Foods for Elderly People

In the early stages of tooth loss, it is important to maintain good dental hygiene – brushing teeth twice a day and flossing daily. This will help prevent cavities from forming or worsen.

For those who are less fortunate here are some easy to chew foods:

Breakfast ideas

  • Cheerios softened in milk and one-half a ripe sliced banana or even a cereal like Raisin Bran.
  • Try scrambled eggs with milk and shredded cheese.
  • Another great egg option is trying them poached. I love them with cheese sauce and over toast!
  • Whole-wheat pancakes or waffles with syrup are also a good option.
  • A great fiber-filled treat is an oatmeal with milk and brown sugar.
  • Another great fiber option is a fruit bowl containing diced mandarin oranges, pears, peaches, and melon
  • It can be as simple as just graham crackers in milk!
soft food

Don’t skip the glass of juice: try prune juice because it combats constipation that many seniors deal with or even a glass of cranberry juice as it is known to prevent urinary tract infections.

Lunch and dinner ideas

While breakfast may be the most important meal of the day, there are other meals to look forward to.

  • V-8 soups are both delicious and nutritional.
  • Chef Boyardee Mini Bites Micro Raviolis are often on sale for just a buck a can – you can even grab them at your local Dollar Tree store.
  • Cream of tomato soup with diced avocados is a nice option with a slight Hispanic flair.
  • A nice hamburger chili is not only filling but full of both fiber and protein.
  • Tamale pie is another option, but instead of using cornbread to top the dish – use even a mix of chopped corn tortillas and shredded cheddar cheese.
  • A green bean casserole is a nice option, but for Easy to chew foods you can try using baby lima beans or even green peas.
  • Cottage cheese with soft fruits and Easy to chew foods like sliced apple or banana is a great option.
  • Hormel “Compleats” dinners in gravy are both fast and easy meals to whip up. It’s great for those living alone who don’t like to make a huge meal.
  • Spaghetti with lots of meat sauce adds protein as well as being easy to chew. Try using the new “pot-sized” noodles as they are a little less than half the length of normal-sized noodles.
  • Mashed potatoes with plenty of meat gravy sauce and soft green beans or carrots can make for a nice meal.
The Best Easy to Chew Foods for Elderly People

You can even try baby foods! Things like strained meats; creamed corn; carrots or vegetables, cooked until very soft, then seasoned and buttered to taste. They have come a long way with how amazing and tasty they are.

Snack ideas

  • Milkshakes or malteds are a great Easy to chew food for seniors. They add dairy and that boost of sugar that helps them out. You can easily add a scoop of protein powder to them that adds 20 grams of protein.
  • Greek yogurt is roughly 10 grams of protein and has a ton of flavor options. You can get kinds that have fruit in them too!
  • Jell-O – everyone has room for Jell-O and there are a ton of different kinds of flavors.
  • Ensure. It is a meal replacement but has nutrients and is just the right size.

Special treats

  • Brownies in milk – it may sound a little weird but brownies can be broken up into a bowl and mixed with milk. You get the great taste and it is soft to manage. It is even better when the brownies are on the drier side.
  • Cake in milk – same as the brownies. It really is tasty!
  • Ice cream – this is a no-brainer and there are a ton of flavor options.
  • A Hershey bar (no nuts) – it melts in your mouth – yum!
  • Pudding – again, a ton of flavor options – even tapioca!
The Best Easy to Chew Foods for Elderly People

Helpful advice

  • Use applesauce on a spoon with medications to help the pills go down easily.
  • Mix nutritional protein powder in food as directed.
  • Mix Benefiber in liquids and soups for more fiber.
  • Gatorade is handy in powder form for hydration maintenance.
  • Provide water, water, and more water for your loved one to stay hydrated, and to avoid urinary tract infections!

Swallowing may also be a problem, so be sure the food is served cut in tiny bites, vegetables are cooked longer until soft, and served with juice, gravy, or sauce. The ideas presented may also help after dental surgery.

Once you have a good list of foods that can be eaten, it’s helpful to prepare a computerized shopping list that can be edited, printed out, and taken with you every time you shop.

It’s a challenge to come up with original recipes where chewing and swallowing are issues. I found several cookbooks online published exclusively for this dilemma.

  • HEALTHY SOFT FOOD DIET: Delicious And Nutritious Easy To Chew And Swallow Recipes Food Maximum Enjoyment And Dietary Guide Food Swallowing Difficulty
  • The I-Can’t-Chew Cookbook: Delicious Soft Diet Recipes for People with Chewing, Swallowing, and Dry Mouth Disorders
soft food for seniors

Finally, it is best for someone to be available when an elder is eating. Mishaps occur…choaking, fainting, falling, dropping utensils, being unable to lift the glass for a drink…you name it, anything can happen!

Eating is one of the most important things we do and it’s essential that our elderly loved ones are able to enjoy this experience as well. This article has provided some Easy-to-chew meals in hopes that you’ll have some good Easy-to-chew food options.

Other articles you may find helpful:

Five Healthy Diet Tips for Seniors

Seniors are often faced with diet challenges. They need to eat healthy foods that will help them maintain a strong immune system, but they also need to avoid diet mistakes that can lead to health problems. This blog post contains five diet tips for seniors that are simple and easy to follow.

Five Healthy Diet Tips for Seniors

It can be hard to focus on real food when you are living alone. Often they don’t want to take the time or effort to whip up a full meal so they snack or eat a lot of crap instead of maintaining a well-balanced diet.

Five Healthy Diet Tips for Seniors

They need to avoid overeating junk food and other high-calorie items, but also make sure that they are getting the nutrients their body needs in order to function properly. Try not to let them overdo it on sugar or salt as these can lead to health problems.

Seniors need to make an effort to eat nutritiously every day. Eating a healthy senior diet will help you feel your best. What you eat controls it all! Here are some tips for eating a healthy senior diet.

Fiber is Your Friend!

Seniors often suffer from constipation so it is especially important to eat a variety of fiber-rich foods and also have a regular exercise routine. Eating whole grains in breads, cereal, and brown rice, along with fruits, helps the bowels work! Choose whole or cut-up fruits instead of juice for more fiber in your diet.

Fiber is Your Friend!

As an additional option, there are powdered drinks you can add to water and use for fiber. Metamucil or even its store-brand options are available in most grocery stores.

Eating a diet rich in fiber can also help you lose weight as it helps keep you full longer while preventing overeating and other diet mistakes. Fiber is important for everyone–not just seniors!

Diet Tips for Seniors: Drink Water!

Water is an important element of a healthy senior diet and one that is hard for many seniors to fulfill. Seniors need to drink at least 8 glasses daily to hydrate their bodies. Drinking water will prevent dehydration symptoms such as headaches, muscle weakness, hoarseness, and constipation.

If you’re one of those seniors who has a hard time drinking enough water, keep a container with at least 8 glasses of water in the refrigerator every day. At the end of the day, the container should be empty which means you have drunk the water necessary for a healthy senior diet!

What counters that hydration?

Five Healthy Diet Tips for Seniors

Seniors must also make sure they’re not drinking too many liquids that will counteract the hydration from water. Alcohol is one of those drinks–not only does alcohol dehydrate you but it’s a diet mistake for seniors and can lead to health problems such as high blood pressure, obesity, and liver disease!

The other drink that counters your water intake is coffee. Too much caffeine can lead to heart palpitations, insomnia, and increased anxiety or stress levels.

Eat Your Veggies!

Vegetables provide many of our vitamins and minerals so it is important to eat a good variety of them daily. Buy fresh in season, and canned or frozen out of season. Plan some of your meals around vegetables by making soups or stir-frys. Make a habit of munching on raw veggies for a healthy snack.

Here is the thing: a lot of seniors don’t like to eat raw veggies as they are a bit harder to digest as we age. They cause gas. It’s a diet issue for seniors! As an alternative to raw veggies, consider making them into soup which is easier on the digestive tract.

Steaming is a great option also. When you steam vegetables, they are easier to digest and the flavor is locked in.

Diet Tips for Seniors: Take Vitamins Daily

Seniors should try to get vitamins and minerals by making healthy food choices. Often, seniors have problems with eating that make it difficult to eat healthy enough to get the daily required amounts of vitamins and minerals.

Diet Tips for Seniors: Take Vitamins Daily

Because of this, it is important to take a daily multi-vitamin supplement. So, when you are putting your meds in a pill holder be sure to add a multi-vitamin so you don’t forget to take it every day!

What kind of multi-vitamin is a good choice?

It is important to choose a multi-vitamin that has the appropriate levels of vitamins and minerals for your diet. For instance, if you’re eating healthy foods all day but not getting enough calcium or vitamin D then make sure these are in your supplement.

It is also good to look for a 50+ option, gender-specific. They tend to be formulated for the needs of an aging body.


Seniors should visit the USDA website to use their MyPlate Plan. This personalized plan will tell you the daily amounts of food that you should be eating. Just enter your age, sex, weight, height, and amount of physical activity and you will get your personalized healthy senior diet!

Isn’t that just the coolest?

You can choose to maintain your current weight or lose weight. The MyPlate is a useful tool to develop a healthy senior diet.

It is also available in Spanish!

Diet Tips for Seniors: Take Vitamins Daily

To wrap it all up, diet mistakes are easy for seniors to make. With the diet tips above, you can avoid overeating, undereating, dehydration, and other diet mistakes that can lead to a host of health problems.

Eat a healthy senior diet, have a regular exercise program, smile, and enjoy your life every day!

Other articles you may find helpful:

3 Simple Water Exercises For Seniors

Water exercises for seniors are a great way to stay healthy and active. Swimming is one of the best water exercise routines because it works for all the major muscle groups in your body, no matter what movement you choose.

3 Simple Water Exercises For Seniors

Here are three water exercises that are easy on joints yet provide a good workout!

3 Simple Water Exercises For Seniors

Seniors often utilize water exercises since the water has a dual purpose. Water is more buoyant on any achy joints for arthritis and it also provides resistance aside from gravity for strengthening muscles when you get the body moving.

What are the benefits of working out in the water?

  • In the water is easier on your joints than on the land
  • The water provides support, making it easy for people with limited mobility to participate in water exercises.

All you need is a simple swimming pool for the most popular water exercises that do the most good. Here are some movements that will get your blood pumping if your joints feel older and achy.

water walking

Just because you are in the water, that doesn’t mean you should over-exert yourself. You should still take it easy and don’t exercise beyond your means. If you get out of breath and need to take a break, by all means just relax your muscles and take it easy. The water will already help keep you cool as opposed to the warmer air.

It is actually easy to over-exercise in the water – as you are working more muscles and harder than you actually think you are. Moderation – and start slow and build up your time and level of workout gradually.

Water Walk

Simply walking in the water offers more resistance when you lift your legs than normal walking due to the weight of the water. When you swing your arms through the water you add more resistance to your arms as well.

Cupping your hands will increase the weight for your arms to move and improve your arm muscles beyond just lifting them when you walk normally. Your hands will push away more water offering better resistance for your forearms and elbow.

pool push-ups

Walking in water is ideal if you have shaky legs or stiff joints and there is a fear of falling. If you fall in the water there is a much less chance of getting hurt even though you should still take it easy.

If you want to increase the workout – there are pool water gloves for your hands that will create more drag on the water. There are also foam leg cuff wraps that will help give your workout a boost.

The Aqua Gloves:

They’re very comfortable to wear, well made & I’ve already noticed a difference in conditioning since I started using them. The only thing I want to make sure to mention is the fact that they run larger. I use a large garden glove and take a medium in these.

These gloves are not waterproof. They are intended for aquatic fitness. The openings at the wrist and finger tips may allow water to be felt on your hand.

The leg cuffs are great:

  • Aquatic ankle cuffs offer both floatation and weight resistance when used in water. Great for hydrotherapy, muscular development and aquatic training.
  • Cuffs are designed for comfort and durability while providing resistance for leg workouts and water aerobics. They have adjustable straps for firm positioning and increased safety.
  • They can be used as Arm Cuffs too! Arm Cuffs are a perfect solution to the needs of hydrotherapy and are ideal for personal use as well as structured, rehabilitation programs.
He has a lot of great variations for pool walking – it’s great for therapy too!


Using the wall of the pool for a push-up can be better for your arms than you think. Get in water that goes up to your shoulders and place your hand’s shoulder-width apart against the edge of the pool. Then push your arms up and down like you are doing a normal push-up.

The beauty of this exercise is that your entire body weight isn’t being held up by your arms. All you are doing is getting a light workout as you push against the water up against your back. This is a great exercise to get your arms and shoulders moving with little resistance so you can gradually work up your arm strength.

I don’t suggest you do this in that backyard above ground pool that has become very popular since COVID. Pushing on those walls will be bad for the integrity of your pool and possibly create a small flood in your yard.

Just For Kicks

pool kicking

You’ve seen little kids with their first swimming lesson that grab onto the edge of the pool, lay with their legs straight out, and kick the water. This elementary movement for swimming lessons is also a great workout for your legs, knees, and hips.

While you don’t need to splash up seafoam with every kick, you can kick along at your own pace according to how your joints and muscles feel. Even if you don’t splash water on the surface, the simple kicking motion will give your entire leg a workout.

If you have that above-ground backyard pool, I suggest you use that ladder to hang onto instead of the sidewall of that pool. Just like those push-ups, using that edge of a backyard pool could create a compromising issue with its structural integrity.

The beauty of all three of these exercises is that they can be done at your own pace with less risk for injury due to falls since the water will help keep you buoyant.

3 Simple Water Exercises For Seniors

As with any exercise routine, having a partner with you is helpful in case you need assistance and encouragement. Consult with your physician if you plan on starting a water exercise routine or any physical workout to keep in shape.

Other articles you may find helpful:

All You Need to Know About Settling an Estate

All You Need to Know About Settling an Estate? In order to help you navigate the process of settling an estate, we need to understand what going through probate actually entails.

All You Need to Know About Settling an Estate

The entire process is complex and difficult to navigate, but there are some tips that might help you sort your way through this often overwhelming task.

All You Need to Know About Settling an Estate

Here are our top three pieces of advice for dealing with probate when a parent has passed on.

1) Seek Professional Help:

This may sound like a no-brainer, but it’s important that someone who knows the ins and outs of probate is involved in the process from start to finish, even if they’re just advising you as decisions have to be made quickly once proceedings begin.

Who is the expert in this case?

The executor. A good probate lawyer knows all the ins and outs of this process and can help you cope with it in an efficient manner. If you don’t know where to turn for legal advice, ask around, ask friends and family for a recommendation.

The Executor:

Everyone has a role in the probate process, and your loved one’s executor is in charge of making sure that everything goes smoothly once proceedings begin.

They will be responsible for hiring experts who can appraise all assets, pay outstanding debts and be the person who distributes all assets to beneficiaries according to instructions outlined in a will or through state law.

Check out probate laws in your state, because they vary from one location to another. Some states allow anyone named as an executor by a will to act on behalf of the estate without being appointed formally through the courts, while others require that an executor be formally appointed by a court.

You can also hire a lawyer to help you with all this if need be. They’ve probably dealt with an estate settlement at least once in their lifetime so they’ll know exactly what needs to happen and how to execute it properly.

Tips for Navigating Probate After a Parent Passes

All You Need to Know About Settling an Estate: Stay Organized

Your executor will be organizing the entire process, so stay on top of them by making sure that all your loved one’s important documents are gathered in one location. You’ll probably need to go through their bank accounts and credit cards for accounts to be closed out and money to be distributed.

You’ll also need to gather a list of every person who needs to be notified and inform them of the time and place of the ceremony, whether it’s a burial or cremation, etc.

2) Do Your Homework:

There is so much information out there on how to settle an estate, it can almost be overwhelming. It’s easy to get bogged down with documents and dates, but understand that the process is repetitious, so once you’ve done some initial legwork you’re well on your way to being able to breeze through the rest of it.

All You Need to Know About Settling an Estate

What kind of things do you need to keep in mind here?

If you’re helping out with the settlement, how involved will you be? Do you have time to help your loved ones gather all their belongings in order for them to be cataloged and sold? If not, there are services that can do it on your behalf.

It’s important to get a complete picture of what needs to be done and assess how much time you’re willing to devote to the process. You can then begin piecing together a step-by-step guide of what needs to be done, and which people will do it.

The executor is in charge so they have all the say-so over this process, but it’s important that everyone offering their assistance know what they’re getting themselves into.

There’s probably more to this process than you realize at first glance, but once you know what your role will be in all

Gather All Necessary Documents

3) Gather All Necessary Documents:

Some documents are necessary in order to go through probate, so make sure you’re gathering anything and everything that may be needed. It’s better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to important legal issues such as this one.

What documents do you need?

You’ll need a death certificate, and you may also have to provide your loved one’s will as well. The executor will take over the process once these pieces of information are made available to them. What else should be gathered?

Open bank accounts like checking and savings for an overview of their financial situation, any credit cards that your loved one had, and how much was owed on them, among other things.

You’ll need to gather or make a list of every person who needs to be notified about the estate when it’s opened in probate. You may also have to provide a list of assets that were held by your loved ones as well, which means you’ll need to know where they stashed their cash and valuables at home.

at documents do you need?

After You Go Through Probate:

Don’t ignore any outstanding debts your loved one may have had after they’ve died. This is an important part of the process, so don’t be afraid to ask about it if you’re unsure of what needs to be done.

If you’re inheriting any assets from your loved one, make sure you know how to handle them. It’s good to have some experience with this if you want to avoid the hassle of being audited or even having a case brought against you by the IRS for not properly handling matters.

There are many things that need to be done after your loved one has passed on, and it can be a lot to take in. There are many different services that can guide you through the process of settling an estate after someone dies, so don’t hesitate to use them. They will help relieve some of the burdens from your shoulders so you can grieve without having to worry about legal issues as well.

All You Need to Know About Settling an Estate

If you aren’t comfortable going through probate by talking with a lawyer or your local government offices, check online. There are many websites and apps out there that walk you through settling an estate step-by-step, and many of them are free. You can learn a lot from these sites, so consider using them if you don’t want to go it alone.

Other articles you may find helpful:

How to Keep Them Safe and Independent

It’s difficult to watch your aging loved ones struggle with the day-to-day tasks of living. You want to help them, but you don’t know what they need or how much is too much. The best thing you can do if you don’t know How to Keep Them Safe and Independent is offer assistance with simple tasks and respect their autonomy by giving them the opportunity to help themselves.

How to Keep Them Safe and Independent

It’s also important not to take over for them, but it is equally important that they know they are loved and that you’re there to support them in any way possible!

How to Keep Them Safe and Independent

Keeping the elderly independent comes with much responsibility from all parties involved. The parent, the children and at times even caregiver can feel frustrated by this process. I’ve found that parents enjoy their independence as long as they’re safe and secure in their homes. Even if their physical abilities aren’t what they used to be, it’s important for them to feel like they can do things for themselves while living alone.

When you come into the picture, this whole scenario becomes a balancing act on your part. And it’s not easy! You want your parents to feel independent but safe at the same time. 

First, you may need to evaluate whether your parent’s home is safe and secure enough for them to live by themselves. If the answer is yes, then set up some simple rules that will help ensure their safety but also allow them to maintain their independence.

How to Keep Them Safe and Independent

The following are some of my suggestions…

Offer Assistance with Simple Tasks

Remember that you may not know all the struggles your loved one is going through, so it’s important to offer assistance without being presumptuous. You can ask them if there are any tasks they need help with (like cleaning the house or doing the laundry).

Then, offer to take on some of those tasks. If they don’t want your help, that’s okay! Just be sure to give them an opportunity to tell you what they need in their own words.

Offer Assistance with Simple Tasks

Respect their Autonomy

After you’ve offered assistance, respect the elderly loved one’s decision to either accept your help or not. It can be difficult to watch them struggle with a task that is second nature to you, but it might just be frustrating for them and they simply need someone to observe.

Respecting their autonomy by giving them the opportunity to help themselves is important, no matter what they need help with. You may be used to giving orders and leading tasks to completion, but that’s not the best approach for a loved one who may have different needs.

Instead, offer to help when they’re doing something and see if they’ll let you do some of the tasks involved. For instance, if you want to help them clean up their kitchen, ask them if it would be okay with them if you washed the dishes while they sweep.

Sometimes your loved one has other skills that are still functional but are just waiting to re-surface. Offer encouragement and praise for anything they can do without assistance. This will give them the confidence to help themselves!

Respect their autonomy

As a caregiver for your aging parent, you are probably very concerned about them being safe and healthy. However, there is one thing that you can do to help keep your family healthier than any other precaution:

You have to let go of control.

Loving the elderly is a choice, but it’s something you have to do without your own selfish interests in mind. By allowing your parent to maintain their independence during their later years, you are doing them and your entire family a great service.  You can’t control everything that happens around you, but if you’re confident that both they and you are safe and sound, you’ll be relieved of worry.  

Being able to let go of control has been one of the biggest challenges for me in dealing with a loved one’s personal needs on my own.  I didn’t want them to struggle with things they were used to doing without effort, but I had to remind myself that it was as much for me as it was for them:  I couldn’t control everything.  

In fact, I realized that I did more harm than good by always trying to take over because of my own need to feel in-charge.  It wasn’t until I stepped back and allowed my parent’s independence to flourish again that I was able to relax and enjoy our time together more.  

You have to let go of control.

When you’re consistently worried about your loved one doing something wrong, it’s difficult for them to feel secure that you actually love them for who they are.

How to Keep Them Safe and Independent: Support them

Don’t take over for them, but make sure they know you’re there to support them in any way possible! Remember that your loved one may be used to doing certain tasks on their own and may have anxiety in new situations. Offer help with simple tasks like taking the garbage out or going to the store.

If they tell you they don’t need help, ask them what you can do to help them. It’s important that they know that you’re there for them no matter what. It’s also important not to take over for them, but it is equally important that they know you’re there to support them in any way possible!

How to Keep Them Safe and Independent

The bottom line:

It is important not to take over for your aging loved ones, but it is equally important that they know you’re there to support them in any way possible!

Make sure they are safe and secure while maintaining their independence is a joyous undertaking. It may seem daunting at first, but with some practice, you should be able to do it easily. Good luck!

Other articles you may find helpful:

5 Independent Living Tips for Seniors: Staying Active

Independent Living Tips for Seniors? You’ve just retired and you’re ready to move forward with your next stage of life. Living independently might be a new experience for you, so how do you make the adjustment?

5 Independent Living Tips for Seniors: Staying Active

Living on your own can be rewarding, but it does require some adjustments. Here are 5 independent living tips that will help seniors stay active in their daily lives and continue to live an engaged lifestyle.

5 Independent Living Tips for Seniors: Staying Active

My five independent living tips for seniors are important to follow for a better quality of life. These five independent living tips for seniors involve dependence on others outside the home, yet can help those less likely to have to live in a retirement home or other less than ideal situation.

These five independent living tips for seniors are in no particular order. Deciding whether to live alone, with relatives, or in another setting is one where all factors should be considered carefully.

Have A Call and Stop-By List In Place

Living alone doesn’t mean living lonely. For seniors, you must have at least a couple of people outside your home watching your back every week. Have them call you or stop by your house once or twice a week to make sure you are alright, and to provide some human contact. Owning a pet can also provide companionship and protection.

This is the most important thing to do and will help you maintain a higher quality of life.

Independent Living Tips for Seniors

Hire Out or Find Volunteers For Strenuous and/or Risky Household Chores

Unless you’re fit and agile and have even discussed doing strenuous or risky household chores with your doctor, find a volunteer to do this or hire someone for these tasks.

What kind of chores are we talking about?

Heavy lifting, moving furniture, shoveling snow in the winter, getting on a ladder and cleaning out the storm gutters, and taking out the trash.

There are many people who would be happy to help you with these chores in exchange for food or money, or they might do it because they want to lend a hand and feel like part of your family.

These chores aren’t worth breaking a bone or having a heart attack over. If you do decide to take on these tasks, at the very least, have someone help you.

Hire Out or Find Volunteers

Create a Home Evacuation Plan

No matter if you live alone or with others, fires and other natural disasters can create a difficult situation when trying to immediately evacuate a home. This is especially true for fires.

Call your local fire department official(s) (a city, county, or state fire agency) and have them visit your home to advise you on making it safer and more ready-made for safe evacuation.

And make sure that you have a list of the medications and other medical supplies you use handy, and give a copy of this list to a trusted person who can advise medical staff in the event of an emergency.

Make Sure Your Legal Affairs Are In Order

Being independent means being smart when it comes to managing your personal affairs of financial, property, and medical aspects of your life. Consult a lawyer about powers of attorney, especially for health care and finances (in the event of incapacitation).

Make Sure Your Legal Affairs Are In Order

Make sure you have a will and that it’s updated to reflect your wishes. Don’t leave your family and loved ones in the lurch in the event of your passing or incapacitation.

We can go into the legal ramifications of what a will or living trust is later, but it is important to talk to your financial planner or lawyer and get this taken care of. If you don’t currently have either of those people handy, check with your local bank and see if they can help you.

If Possible, Have a “Life Alert” Type of System Set-Up in Your Home

Falling is the number cause of accidental injury for people 65 and older who are at home. What happens if you fall and can’t get up and aren’t near a phone nor are people nearby to hear you?

If you can afford to do so or can find a locally-based program that covers the cost, set up a “Life Alert” type of system that lets you immediately alert emergency personnel in the event of an accident or other emergency via a worn point of contact gadget.

Independent Living Tips for Seniors

One of the best ways to stay independent is by staying active. Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean being physically fit, it means keeping your mind and body busy through activities like reading books, playing board games or cards with friends and family members (or strangers!), going on walks outside amongst nature – there’s so much more than just gardening, taking classes, learning a new skill and keeping your brain busy by learning to play an instrument.

Some of these activities you can do on your own time, but others might require some help from family members or friends.

No matter what activity you choose, make sure that it keeps both the mind and body active! Living independently doesn’t mean just staying at home and going on a walk once in a while.

Other articles you may find helpful:

The Challenge of Caring for An Aging Parent From a Distance

As difficult as caregiving can be, it is possible to take care of your own needs and provide meaningful support for your aging parent. The key is knowing how to balance these two things without either becoming overwhelmed or feeling like you’re neglecting yourself.

The Challenge of Caring for An Aging Parent From a Distance

In this article, we’ll explore the challenges of caring from a distance—and what you can do about them.

Distance and Stress

For any caregiver, distance can be a major source of stress. This is particularly true if you live far away from your aging loved ones and don’t have a regular opportunity to spend time with them. When you’re caring for an aging parent from a distance, it’s easy to worry that something is wrong—and you can’t be there to help.

Distance also means that you can’t solve problems on the spot, or do things like providing a ride to an important appointment. It can be more difficult to keep track of all that’s going on and feel fully informed about their care—particularly if your loved one is in multiple settings, such as being cared for at an assisted living facility (ALF) and a home health agency (HHA).

It can also be difficult to find time for caregiving tasks, like visiting the doctor or researching care options. And if there are many siblings in the picture, it can be hard to get everyone on the same page about their parent’s needs and preferences.

Your loved one’s distance from you doesn’t have to mean more work for you, however. It can be easier if they’re close enough that you can visit them frequently and participate in making care decisions. If this isn’t possible, there are plenty of ways to reduce the impact on your own well-being while still doing what’s best for your loved one.

aging parent

Protect Yourself—and Your Loved One

Let’s face it: family caregivers have a lot on their plate, and they don’t have the opportunity to take time off as a paid caregiver might. Sooner or later, you’re bound to be overwhelmed, fatigued, and stressed out. It’s important to take steps to protect yourself from these negative effects.

For example, if you live far away, plan regular visits with your loved one in the weeks before and after each visit—or set up a video or phone call that will help you feel connected while taking pressure off of your tight schedule. Encourage them to do the same with you.

Stress can also come in the form of guilt, and this is particularly true if you live far away from your aging loved one but still able to work or carry out normal activities—and they are not. Having a strong support network that includes friends, family members, and others who understand your situation can help you feel less guilty about living life to the fullest while your loved one might be experiencing some challenges.

meals on wheels

Remember, though, that you can’t protect yourself from everything—and avoiding serious stress altogether isn’t healthy or realistic. You should always take time for self-care and know when it’s time to ask for help from others. If you’re having trouble balancing the demands of caregiving and your own life, you can ask other family members for additional help.

If necessary, reach out to an adult day program or a home health aide to provide respite care when you need it most. You may also want to discuss the situation with a professional geriatric care manager (GMC) who can give you advice while helping you find qualified caregivers.

Does your loved one give you a guilt trip?

If you live far away, it’s easy for your aging loved ones to feel like you don’t care as much about them.

In these situations, it’s important to remember that many older adults have difficulty telling the difference between guilt and compassion—and they might try to guilt you into doing more for them.

use senior centers

If your loved one uses guilt to manipulate you into doing more, it’s important to be honest about how much time and energy you can give. Be honest about your own limits, but be kind when explaining the situation.

Say something like, “I’m sorry that I won’t be able to visit as often as I’d like—right now I’m working a lot of hours at work and taking care of my family. I’m also trying to get enough sleep and exercise every day so that I can keep from getting sick.”

If you’re honest but gentle, your loved one is more likely to understand where you’re coming from—even if it’s difficult for them to hear.

Are there paid services you can use?

From Meals on Wheels to chore services and private-duty nursing care, there are many paid options for your aging loved one. These services can be expensive, but they can also be worth the cost if you have trouble juggling caregiving with work or family obligations.

helping aging parents

If you’re able to pay for these types of services, it’s important not to feel guilty about using them. It’s your loved one who needs the service, not you—and they’ll be much happier if their care is handled professionally, instead of depending on family members who can’t spare as much time and attention.

In the end, it’s important to remember that stress is a normal part of life—and taking care of an aging parent from far away doesn’t mean that your situation has to be difficult. There are plenty of ways to manage work and loved ones without sacrificing one for the other.


The Challenge of Caring for An Aging Parent From a Distance

Other articles you may find helpful:

Gifts for Seniors – 10 Great Ideas

The holidays are coming up, and you may be wondering what gifts to get for the seniors in your life. It can be difficult during these busy times of year to find gifts that they will enjoy.

Gifts for Seniors - 10 Great Ideas

We have compiled a list of 10 great gifts for seniors– including ones for those who live independently or with family, as well as gifts for nursing home residents.

Gifts for Seniors – 10 Great Ideas

Are you having a hard time buying a gift for a senior loved one? Gifts are really hard to buy for people as they get older, but gifting a senior citizen doesn’t have to be hard, it just needs to come from the heart.

The easiest way to gift a senior citizen is to give something that the senior citizen could not so easily buy. Here are ten gift ideas for your favorite senior citizen:

Homemade bread.

A senior citizen often likes something sweet with coffee for afternoon snacks, so why not whip up a loaf of homemade banana bread or homemade apple bread for your favorite senior citizen? Wrap it in foil or plastic wrap and top it with a bow. This makes a perfect anytime gift for your favorite senior citizen.

You can try a variety of baked goods to keep things fresh – like some of these great ideas we found:

Gifts for Seniors - 10 Great Ideas

A Casserole.

Cooking a meal is sometimes exhausting for a senior citizen, so why not bake a delicious one-meal casserole and deliver it up as a gift for your favorite senior citizen. You can leave the casserole dish as part of the gift, or you can offer ongoing refills on a weekly/monthly basis just for your favorite senior citizen returning the dish each time.

May I suggest breaking it down into smaller portions first? That way a few can go into the freezer for later use. Who wants to eat the same thing night after night? If you did this for a few months with different casseroles, eventually they would have a freezer full of a nice variety.

Lawn mowing.

It’s a tough job to mow the lawn in the heat, especially for a senior citizen. So, why not save your favorite senior citizen the trouble by gifting a lawn mowing? Not only will this serve as a helpful gift for your favorite senior citizen, but it’ll also make you feel better about yourself, and you might even get a glass of tea out of the deal.

Lawn mowing

Trip to the beauty/barbershop.

Is your favorite senior citizen on a fixed income? If so, he/she might not be able to afford that special attention from a beauty shop/barbershop. So, why not take your favorite senior citizen for a haircut, hairstyle, or a permanent one? You drive; you pay. This is one of the best senior citizen gifts as it helps their self-esteem too!

Even a manicure or pedicure could be a huge treat – pedicures are great if they have diabetes, it helps you subtly keep an eye on their health.

A hand-delivered meal.

A senior citizen often enjoys getting a home-cooked plate of food cooked by someone else, so why not dish out a plate for your favorite senior citizen when you cook your own family a meal? You might want to be careful with the spices. As a person ages, spices tend to agree less with the digestive system.

It can be nice to whip up a few that only need a quick zap in their microwave – and they often taste better than the options from meals on wheels.

A hand-delivered meal

Outing to a senior dance.

Give your favorite senior citizen the chance to mingle with people his/her own age by taking your favorite senior citizen to a senior citizen dance. You can dance, too. The evening will provide both of you with some good exercise and some good company.

Trust me – some of those seniors might easily out dance you – after all, they know every step!

A Night at bingo.

A night at bingo can really pep up the spirits of your favorite senior citizen. Bingo helps with thinking/reaction skills, and the good news is that it doesn’t cost a lot to spend an afternoon at bingo. Play a card or two while you both sip on sodas, and your favorite senior citizen will walk away with a smile stretched across his/her face.

If it is at your local casino? Go for the buffet too!

A Night at bingo

Visit the senior citizen center.

Many towns provide senior citizen centers, and these centers offer a variety of activities, so treat your senior citizen to a ride to your local senior citizen center. Your favorite senior citizen will have the chance to play dominoes, shuffleboard, or other activities during the visit.

If you don’t have a senior center, check our local parks and recreation guide for different activities. Often they have great bargaining power and get amazing deals for all participants.


Want a fun time with your favorite senior citizen? Why not gift your favorite senior citizen with a nice set of dominoes and then set up a weekly domino night. You can build on that gift by baking a loaf of banana bread, etc, and run on over one night a week for some good clean fun with your favorite senior citizen.

If Dominoes aren’t your thing – there are so many other great games for 2 people to play: GO is a great example. It originated in China in ancient times. It was considered one of the four essential arts of a cultured Chinese scholar in antiquity and is described as a worthy pastime for a gentleman in the Analects of Confucius. Maybe Chess, Checkers, Backgammon, Cribbage? Maybe try a new game every month!


Day of housecleaning.

Even a senior citizen who lives in a small apartment might have a hard time keeping a clean house due to mobility/energy issues. Worse yet, with declining eye issues they fail to see how bad things might really be getting.

Worst-case scenario? They have bugs in their pantry and aren’t even aware that they are getting extra protein with their daily cereal. I only mention this as it is something we had to deal with. Even the couch my mother-in-law practically lived in had little creatures living off the crumbs she had dropped.

So, why not share your abundant mobility/energy by helping out with some household chores. You don’t even have to completely clean the house. Just do the dishes or vacuum the floors.

Day of housecleaning

Other articles you might think are helpful:

5 Great Activities For Seniors This Summer

Activities For Seniors? The summer months are just around the corner and it’s time to start thinking about activities for your senior loved one. While you might think activities like golf, shuffleboard, or going on a cruise ship would be perfect, these activities can be too strenuous for seniors who don’t have mobility impairments.

5 Great Activities For Seniors This Summer

However, there are plenty of fun activities that can keep your senior active this summer without breaking a sweat! Here is a look at 5 easy activities that will make your loved one happy this summer season:

5 ways to keep your senior active this summer

The summer is a great time to get out and about and enjoy some fresh air. However, when the weather turns extremely hot, everyone needs to be conscious of their activity level when having fun in the sun.

Why is it important for seniors to be kept active? Seniors who are inactive can be prone to heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. But that’s not all. Inactivity can also lead to obesity and if mental decline has started? It can rapidly take hold.

Everyone needs to feel like they make a difference – Meaningful Activities are important

Luckily, there are activities that will keep your loved one active this summer!

Senior citizens and children especially need to focus on staying hydrated and beating the heat whenever possible. Still, summer activities for seniors do not have to be solely indoor experiences. By doing a little research, even they can get outside, get moving and enjoy the warmer months. Here are a few ideas to get things going:

A Morning Walk

A Morning Walk

The morning is a great time to get outside and talk a nice stroll. Before the afternoon sun starts beating down harshly on the pavement and the day is still relatively cool, planning a walk around the neighborhood is a great form of exercise.

However, if a hiking trail has some good stable terrain, such as paving stones or crushed limestone, getting some time with nature is a great idea. Hiking trails should be researched for length and material prior to embarking on any journey, though, just to make sure the trip can be completed before things start to get too hot to handle.

Activities For Seniors: Go Swimming

Taking a dip in the pool is a great way to cool off, and even senior citizens can benefit from the activity of being in the water. A quick check of available public pools will often reveal special senior hours where the facility is at its disposal. Plus, hanging out with the grandkids at their backyard pool is a great way to enhance the family bonds.

Just follow the general pool safety rules: no running, stay near the wall and wear water shoes to avoid slipping on wet surfaces. Above all, never, ever swim alone.

Activities For Seniors: Go Swimming

You can take a trip to the beach too. Surfside activities are often less intense during the day and can be a great way to get some exercise. Of course, just like with any other activity involving water, make sure your senior loved one is wearing sunscreen while on the beach so they don’t burn or develop skin cancer.

Take Day Trips

Summer is a great time to grab the family and take a day trip to the zoo or even just the park. Even packing up for a picnic lunch can be a great time if the weather does not want to cooperate; simply head out to a local mall and move the party to the food court or a restaurant.

Even checking out a movie or two at the local multiplex (taking advantage of the senior citizen discount) can be a great way to spend the lazy summer afternoons.

If you are dealing with declining mental issues, things like museums or free concerts are a perfect fit! It has been proven that activities such as these can improve mood and motivation as both colors and music make a huge impact.

Take Day Trips

Your local Parks and Rec guide might have fun events to a local town via bus for day trips at a budget price. Museums, aquariums, and even casinos might be available for activities to keep your loved one active this summer.

Don’t knock casinos before you try them – they often have great shows and incredible buffets! Some even have great cultural museums. You can spend a day there and never touch a slot machine.

Activities For Seniors: Try Volunteering

Recent developments in the economy have presented a number of places to volunteer. Many seniors have great life experience that allows them to be experts on a variety of topics. What better way to whittle down the summer days than by sharing those experiences with others?

Just about every church or civic organization is constantly looking for volunteers. Generally, a simple phone call can produce several opportunities for summer activities.

Schools are usually begging for help with the younger kids. I know COVID has changed a few protocols, but with the vaccinations, there is hope that schools will be open to volunteers soon.

Activities For Seniors: Try Volunteering

Take Up A New Hobby

Trying something new is a great way to exercise the mind. Often the mental acuity is involved in learning a new pastime. Everything from arts and crafts to new sports is really on the table.

Sometimes even spending the winter making a list of things to try in the summer is a great way to figure out exactly what to do. Sometimes, the best things are discovered later in life and present new challenges. It is never too late to try something totally unfamiliar.

To sum it all up, it is important that seniors never stop activities. The summer months present a number of opportunities to enjoy time with loved ones, partake in activities available at any hour, and try new things. The only thing standing in their way? The knowledge of what all they could be doing.

Take Up A New Hobby

Other articles you may find helpful:

How to Have That Tough Conversation With Your Aging Parents

Tough Conversation With Your Aging Parents? As we get older our parents get older as well. You don’t think about it much until the time comes around when you are forced to have that tough conversation. What happens when my parents aren’t able to take care of themselves? 

How to Have That Tough Conversation With Your Aging Parents

This is very difficult to talk about or think about for both you and your parents. The ones who have cared for you your whole life now need you to take care of them. It’s a surreal feeling and can be emotional for some. 

How to Have That Tough Conversation With Your Aging Parents

You essentially reverse the roles and take on the responsibility of supporting them, worrying about them and caring for them. Most of the time families don’t talk about this part of their lives but this leads to all kinds of stress and miscommunication. 

It’s important to talk about this with your parents. You need to touch on topics such as finances, medical care, and estate planning. 

Do they have a will set up? Are their finances in order for emergency care? What are their final wishes? 

It’s important to have this convo SOONER rather than LATER no matter how much they fight you on it. 

The best time to start the conversation is now

The best time to start the conversation is now

Once your parents start aging into the years of 55+ they most likely start thinking about a will and what to do when that time comes for assistance. It’s not fun but we all have to face that topic eventually. 

Many parents will talk about this once they start having children in case something happens unexpectedly. They have the reassurance that their children are set up years ahead of time. 

Your parents may be handling these topics as they age but more than likely they aren’t talking to their children about it. It’s a difficult topic to talk about and many families don’t want to speak of it because it’s “too soon”. 

The reality is that it is never too soon. You never know how life will end up and it’s important to start that conversation as soon as possible.

Always make sure your parents know how much you love them before it’s too late!

Start the conversation with a question

Start the conversation with a question

When approaching this situation you want to make sure you don’t offend your parents. You want to let them know that you care about their well-being and you want to be there for them. You aren’t trying to hurt their feelings, you want to make sure you are prepared to care for them if anything may happen. 

Come prepared, and do your research on the topic of caring for aging parents. You can find some good questions and topics to touch on. This will make it easier on you and you will feel more confident and less overwhelmed. There is a lot of important information to remember when talking about this topic. Having questions prepared will make the conversation smoother for all of you.

Start the conversation off with non-threatening questions. These can be questions like:

  • How is the car treating you? Have you had any issues driving it?
  • The house is looking great, how much maintenance is needed for this size home?

Start it off with these conversational questions and easily transition into the questions you came there for. They may get emotional and upset throughout the conversation but this is normal. This isn’t an easy topic. 

Are They Prepared?

Are They Prepared?

It’s hard to think that one day your parents won’t be able to care for themselves from day to day. Things like driving a vehicle, walking up the stairs and cooking dinner become a struggle for them.

You need to be sure they are prepared for this time. Find out who they have named as an emergency contact, doctor, or lawyer. Ask if they have a medical plan of action.  If possible, set up in advance any medical appointments they need so that everything is taken care of without stress. 

Work together on a plan of action for when the time comes. This could include setting up power of attorney and wills. It can get costly for you or for them if they don’t get the necessary care needed at the right time. You can come across scams, high insurance bills or accidents. 

Studies have shown that many aging individuals have cognitive impairment when they age and this causes damaging financial decisions. They stop paying their bills, stop paying their taxes and make poor financial decisions. 

This is a dangerous situation and things like this need to be planned out ahead of time. 

Be Sympathetic and Patient With Them

Be Sympathetic and Patient With Them 

Remember that this might not go smoothly at first – but it will get easier! Be patient with them and don’t give up. It may take some time for your parents’ perspective to change on these topics but remind them that this is for their safety. You only want to help. 

Be kind and understanding while still keeping things clear and direct. Don’t forget to ask questions about what else your parents are worried about or uncomfortable with. 

Offer more compliments and resolutions rather than stating outright that eventually they will need to go to a home. Set the tone for the conversation in a positive tone rather than a negative and accusatory tone. You can get a pretty good feel on how your parents are feeling about certain topics and questions by their body language. 

If they seem anxious, fidgety or get silent you should probably pull back a bit and focus on a different area. 

Finally, keep in mind that your parents may feel more comfortable talking face-to-face than over the phone or through email; consider going to your parents home next time you’re able.

Be Sympathetic and Patient With Them

In Conclusion

Remember that you may not be able to have the entire conversation at once. It may take a few conversations with your parents over dinner to gather all of the information you need to feel prepared. 

If you have siblings or close relatives, ask them to help you address this conversation. The more support you have the better. This also shows your parents that they have people who love them and want the best for them. Be patient, be understanding and support them no matter what.