By Gina Roberts-Grey
On a recent visit, you notice that your father appears to have lost weight and his refrigerator is nearly empty. You realize you have to:
A. Gently scold your father for his poor diet choices.
B. Take dad to lunch to share your concern and offer to help him plan meals.
C. Research meal ideas for a single person.
D. Cook a week's worth of dinners for him.
Time to make a reservation at your dad's favorite restaurant. Once your meals arrive, ask if you can accompany him to his next doctor's appointment (if he doesn't have one scheduled, suggest you make one for him) to rule out any medical issues. Dental problems, illness, memory concerns, physical constraints and medications that suppress appetite can all compromise a senior's ability to eat. Then work with your dad to create a meal plan of easy-to-make foods and hang it up where he'll see it every day, suggests Carpenter.