Social Problems

Loneliness. Invite a friend or neighbor over or have a standing date to eat out with friends or family. Buy smaller sizes to avoid the repetition of leftovers. Set the table attractively and play music softly. Participate in Congregate Dining in your area.

Living Alone. Research has shown a correlation between living alone and having lower quality diets. Men may be at greater risk because they are less experienced with planning, shopping, and preparing meals. Women may feel less motivated to prepare meals when there is no one to share them with. Ways to improve social interaction during meals and improve the experience of dining alone include: participating with others, such as at churches or Congregate Dining sites, eating by a window, using good china, eating in a park or on one's porch, garnishing meals, and trying various frozen or prepared dinners.

When living alone challenges an elderly person's health, he or she can investigate the continuum of care, including adult day care, in-home care, retirement communities, residential care or assisted living, intermediate care, and nursing homes or convalescent hospitals.

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