As babies, we are brought up to be 'social eaters' then we are encouraged to relax and to have a snooze, although as we get older the snooze idea there is often little time for, but instead you could play games or interact and sit with each other before going off on your next tangent. Men particularly benefit from this, where as women often just get on with tidying up.
As we get older many families eat separately, leaving the children or their older relations to eat on their own, which, in many cases is quite the reverse from the routine they were used to as an infant/child or parent.
For older relatives once their families leave home, or fly the nest, after a while, they rarely actually sit down to eat a proper meal, perhaps with this in mind you could encourage them to eat with others more often, or perhaps prepare them a meal for two and invite their favourite friend round as a surprise for them. Or if they are in a Hospital and you have access to visiting them at their Meal time then take a meal along with you and join them by sitting opposite them (as if you were sitting at a proper table), . . Humans are 'Social Eaters' after all.
The latter is particularly important when your relative is 'bed bound' this way you can not only see that they eat a decent meal but you can also encourage them to drink more - drinking fluids is extremely important and can reduce urine infections and other illnesses. If you know the Nursing staff well, you might even be able to sneak in one of their favoured meals . . . . puddings are always a winner - especially for the majority of men!
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