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Nutrition and Meal Planning with Kim Spencer

Kim Spencer at Serengeti Care discusses Nutrition and Meal Planning.

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*The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.

This is a special presentation of answers for elders with Serengeti Care. Welcome back to answers for elders everyone. I am here with Kim Spencer from Serengeti Care and she’s the business development manager and she works with families all over is it’s Snohomish, King, and Pierce County’s camp. Correct. You know, I love what your company does because you guys help with meal preparation and we’re going to talk about nutrition today. I asked him if she would talk about that because obviously you’re cooking for seniors a lot, aren’t you? Yes, we are. We will help with going shopping, buying nutritious meals and products to prepare, also prepare for them cook clean. That’s wonderful and that really keeps things too, safer for seniors, obviously if they’re living in their own home, because maybe they don’t have, you know, a memory to turn the stove off or you know, different things like that. Sometimes those things happen and so obviously a senior that still lives at home that might need a little bit of help, you’re kind of there to be a little bit of a guiding you know, partner with them per se and what they eat. Is that correct? Kids? Correct? We kind of know what their medical history is and we’re really there to make good choices. So you’re still have the right to eat and drink whatever they want, but we want to educate them on making good choices. Sure, if they’re diabetic, they shouldn’t eat so much sugar. Yeah, and, you know, just maybe have low sugar or something that’s naturally sweet. Hmm, like a piece of fruit, something like that. There’s a lot of sugar and fruit. Yes, there is. So if if I’m, you know, a typical senior, let’s just say, for example, you come into a seniors home when they say I need help with meal preparation, what do you do? First of all, to survey their kitchen? I mean there’s there’s things. You look at their cupboards and and things like that. Can you be kind of a help in that area? Well, I would look and see what they have in their cupboard and their freezer refrigerator and probably throw out a lot of stuff right. That’s very typical, expired or happy in and not covered properly or, you know, milks, bad things like that. I’s so funny. When we moved my mom into assisted living and we were cleaning out her house and I have had the wonderful tour of cleaning out her refrigerator. Oh Nice Man. She had every cottage cheese container that she’d saved from the Depression era, right. She would save, you know, things like cottage cheese containers and things like that to put food in, and there’d be like one or two cheesespoons of food that were left in these that she was saving for what? I don’t know, but that’s obviously was her mindset and it I just giggled going through this process because definitely some things were science projects and it wasn’t a fun job bet so. So, as you look at that, what you know? What are some clues? Obviously it’s harder for seniors to eat more healthy when they’re they’ve got mobilization issues and things like that. It’s not so easy to cut up vegetables and things like that, and and it’s also harder to chew on certain things like that. Like all of a sudden, you know, carrots and celery sticks may not be the best choice if someone has, you know, chewing issues, and seniors need to have a lot of their vegetables cooked a little right, little more, not now, Dante right. Like I like them. Yeah, I like them a little bit more. Look more. So when you go to the store, you obviously take the senior with you, don’t you? You go into the store. Yes, and I think before we would prepare and see what they’re they like to eat. More than anything, absolutely, what I like and what they like might be two different things. They might be meat and potato kind of person. That’s what they grew up with. So a lot of our seniors are. Yeah, for sure. And so really prepare, I think, more than anything, is prepare before going that way, you’re not wandering seniors, you know, have a list. Have a list, have a shopping list and go from that list. And then, you know, do you help them like plan out the week of what they’re going to eat? Then it would. So it would be like a long schedule. Then, basically a schedule that prepare the meals, come up with a plan. That’s wonderful. And then so and assets, you guys can prepare. If you came like say, for example, four hours a week, you could come in and help them with their meal preparation, you know, and put things in little ziplock bags or things like that that they can just bring out and heat up in the microwave or something like that. Is that correct? We could do that. Oh, that’s wonderful. So here’s you know, and I’m going to bring this up, Kim, because I remember when my mom had a heart attack. And she had a heart attack, she was in the hospital but, you know, three and four years afterwards, while she was still vital, but you know they were she’d go to the hospital first another procedure and they would put her on a low sodium diet because of that incident. That happened three years ago. She was miserable. She told me, I don’t like this. Well, my mom was not diabetic, she was not, and she had given up, oh my gosh, Kim, she’d given up driving, she had given up alcohol, she’d given up her home. You know, it just broke my heart. You know, she could all the things that she had to let go of. I took it upon myself to say to the hospital, you know, I’m signing a waiver because there’s no reason she has salt in her diet. IRIA. Other time, where she lives in assisted living, it’s okay, in my opinion. At that case, that it’s okay for a family caregiver to put their foot down and say I want my parents to eat whatever they want when they get older. What do you feel about that? Yeah, I feel very strong that give them what they want. Yeah, within reason. Yes, obviously if your parent is diabetic, you don’t turn around and let him have a double ice cream cone. But and nowadays they make a lot of stuff exactly they taste. Is Good, the no sugar cookie and the no sugar ice cream and stuff. But but it’s better than that, heads better than not having you know, they see their friends sitting next to him at the table at the assisted living community and they can’t have anything. Yeah, and that’s you know, that’s orcher will give you a Jello. Yeah. So we are talking with Kim Spencer Serengeti Care and Serengeti Care Your Your Business is basically to help with home care and when we use that term it’s kind of a blanket umbrella term. What what does? What is home care basically part of obviously part of its nutrition to helping. But what’s are some of the other things that you do? Well, Sarah and getty care does home care and home health. We have our end so we can help with wound care and a little bit more than a lot of home cares. A wonderful there. Yes, wound care or physically, you do feel physical therapy type things to occupational therapy. We can bring that in. That’s wonderful. That’s wonderful and that’s really important for those that are maybe recuperating from a surgery or need what we call respite care, which is temporary care homehealth. Having that ability to come in and and do that in your home rather than having to go to a rehab or something like that is really an important part. We basically Serengeti Care brings assisted living to you, whether you live in a Condo, a home or you live in assisted living community. We go there and you know what’s interesting is it’s not that much difference and you’re not paying the high rent in a costwise, because you shared with me that your hourly rates twenty eight dollars an hour. I believe leave assisted living there. You know they’re getting the high rent already and I think assisted living in some communities started around twenty an hour. It was it twenty dollars a day at the very minimum. So you’re talking about but if you’re living there thirty days, you know that’s adding up where you could have a couple days a week of hume care for less money and it would be actually more economical for many families, depending on the scenario. It is and I had a conversation actually with a family member that just moved into an assisted living community and she’s kind of thinking it might not work out. Can they go back to home because they own a home and we could do twenty four hour care right actually less expensive and in as far as the meals, you know, I mean, yes, it’s wonderful food and I’ve net yet to go to a retirement community and get a bad meal. They they do wonderful job, but having food prepared the way your senior loved one likes it is, I think, more valuable in many cases. So one of the things that you do in preparing these meals that are really are you mindful of how they like it prepared. You work with them on that exactly, talk to them, give them what they want. A lot of these communities, a lot of the chefs, I’ve seen it because I’ve worked in assisted living communities in the Seattle Kirklin area and and they do more for the thirty forty year olds instead of what an eighty year old would want. They do it kind of like to kind of do it Fufu. They might serve an Asian or a Mexican dish that’s kind of spicy or something that they’re not really used to, something kind of trendy. It looks the presentations beautiful, but that’s really not what they want. They really want to cheeseburger. Are they want meat loaf exactly? Or they want to can back or I he’s exactly my mom’s favorite meal, macaroni and cheese. Right. That sounds good right now. It does, doesn’t it? So when you’re when you’re going to the store, obviously you know what they like. Do you try to steer them sometimes to get a little bit more nutrition into their diet? So, for example, of their meat and potatoes, you know, do you say, okay, John, I understand you want, you know, we want the meat loaf in the in the mash potatoes. How about we do some Broccoli or you know, something like that with it? Is that something that you do or how do you work with we do? Well, like they say, you know, the outer side when you go grocery shopping. It’s that outside sides. Stay in that. It’s in the middle area that’s full of MSG and so much and all this stuff. It’s like, get fresh, do the meets, the fresh meats, do the fresh bread, breads and produce and everything. So if you can kind of stay on the outside Rim of the supermarket, I think you’re safe. HMM. So when you talk to John, though, when you go to the store, you tell John, you know, we’re going to get some vegetables too, and he might want can corn because that’s what he grew up but you’re going to say no, we’re going to get fresh. Let’s get fresh. Even frozen’s a little bit better. Fresh frozen. Yeah, but it’s in the winter time. If it comes down to whether he’s going to eat, HMM, get him what he wants. Yes, absolutely so, Kim. How do we reach you? You can reach us at Arey Co to zero six for eight, nine, five thousand, one hundred and twenty. You can also check out our website at Thanks for being in the program thanks for now. I’m hungry. I am to this has been a special presentation of answers for elders with Serengeti Care. For more information for Serengeti Care, go to That’s


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Originally published January 13, 2018

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