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Cooking Under Pressure

The physical limitations of aging often make shopping, cooking and dining a challenge for many seniors who want to stay healthy.

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The Home Instead® network is arming seniors and family caregivers with nutrition resources for healthy aging.

Healthy aging is a goal we all share and, for seniors, a well-balanced diet can be even more important. Good nutrition is the first line of defense for older adults who are striving to maintain their independence as they age, helping to protect them from illness and disease.

Achieving a well-balanced diet is not as easy as it sounds, though. The physical limitations of aging often make shopping, cooking and dining a challenge for many seniors who want to stay healthy.

Mobility problems aggravated by conditions such as arthritis can keep seniors away from the grocery store where they would find healthy options for their daily menus. Medications and certain illnesses often cause older adults to lose their appetites. And the death of spouses and friends may isolate seniors, leaving them with little interest in the pleasures of dining at home or eating out at restaurants.

Inability to shop and cook can be major challenges to eating healthy, especially among recently hospital-discharged older adults, said Dr. Nadine Sahyoun, associate professor of Nutrition and Food Science in the University of Maryland College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, who has extensively studied the impact of issues such as dental health, social support and depression on seniors' diets. Physical functioning is very important to the quality of food that is in the home and to the meals that are prepared, she added.

Awareness begins with identifying the warnings signs that seniors are not eating properly. These are the first alerts to warn family caregivers of the potential hazards that their senior loved may be facing if they are not eating properly.

Family caregivers have their own challenges. Their busy schedules helping Mom and Dad with shopping and meal preparation often turn their lives into a pressure cooker of stress. According to Home Instead research: An estimated 83 percent of family caregivers help with groceries or other errands; 65 percent assist with meal preparation.

Cooking Under Pressure® Program

The importance of nutrition to healthy aging is why Home Instead has launched the Cooking Under Pressure nutrition campaign. This program provides education and support to seniors and their family members who are sometimes stressed-out by the demands of caregiving.

Partnering with nutrition experts at the University of Maryland and Duke Diet and Fitness Center (part of Duke University Medical Center), the company has developed a handbook of nutrition tips as well as healthy and interesting recipes that can spice it up for most any senior. The program will assist family caregivers who want to get organized by providing shopping tips and 12 food staples that older adults shouldn't live without.

What's more, Cooking Under Pressure will help seniors and their family caregivers tune into the dangers of malnourishment, one of an older adult's most deadly enemies. Now is a great time to wage the war on aging. It all begins with great food and the support seniors need to make mealtimes a pleasant and healthy experience.

Explore these pages to learn more:

Need help ensuring your senior is eating well? Visit our Resources page.

Cooking Under Pressure PDF
Handbook: Download a PDF version of the Cooking Under PressureSM
handbook (1 MB).
Cooking Under Pressure, Executive Summary PDF
Executive Summary:

Download a PDF of the Executive Summary
- U.S. version (188 KB)
- Canadian version (188 KB)

Last revised: December 13, 2010

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Thoughts and stories from others
  1. June 27, 2017 at 10:22 am | Posted by joyce Sims

    I go to these sights to help get food.They want me to take a survey I never get food .I can't get assistance although I am below the poverty level.They only offer to send me braces for my joints and meters to take my blood sugar levels which are payed. For by my Medicare any way.Is there any program that will help me get food no survey required?


  2. December 1, 2016 at 6:41 pm | Posted by roger lawsin

    I need help fixing and preparing my meals.


    • December 8, 2016 at 11:53 am | Posted by Home Instead

      Hi Roger, have you looked into home care services? Home Instead CAREGivers assist with grocery shopping, meal preparation, and other tasks you may need help with to stay independent at home. Visit and enter your location to get in touch with the Home Instead office near you.


  3. October 19, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Posted by hunter diamond

    Dear Sir or Madam' You web page is very hard to read. You have blue letters on a blue background. Let me know what you think. Sincerely, Hunter


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