Appetite loss in the elderly is a complex issue that can be caused by a variety of mental or physical issues. Seniors who do not eat enough food tend to lose weight, which can put them at risk for serious health conditions. If your senior loved one is not eating often enough, take the following steps to manage the issue.
Ask your loved one why he or she is not eating. You might find the appetite loss is due to something simple to fix, so practicing good communication is worth the time. However, some seniors may not be able to communicate why they are not hungry, and trips to the doctor might not provide insight. If either of these situations occur, you may have to take some extra steps to fix the appetite issue.
Make sure your loved one eats healthy foods each day by hiring a professional caregiver to cook nutritious meals. In Columbus, senior care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Increase Calorie Density
If your loved one no longer feels like he or she wants to eat large portions, you can take steps to increase calorie density. Adding healthy fats like peanut butter, olive oil, and avocado to meals makes small portions calorie-dense so you can ensure your loved one is getting enough nutrition. There are many supplemental beverages specifically designed to provide calories and nutrients in a single drink, so these may be a good option for some seniors.
Make Foods More Palatable
In some cases, a lack of appetite is simply due to not enjoying food. Seniors tend to have duller taste buds, so they may want more salt, spice, acid, and flavor in their food. Some seniors end up having to eat a rather bland diet due to health concerns. In these cases, you might want to talk to a doctor or research suggestions for making tasty meals while adhering to dietary concerns.
Preparing food for seniors can be challenging, but a professional caregiver can help your loved one maintain a nutritious diet. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Columbus seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.
The body becomes less sensitive to hunger signals in old age, and it may be difficult for seniors to figure out if they want to eat or not. Instead of relying on your loved one to eat whenever he or she is hungry, try serving a set amount of food at scheduled times throughout the day.
In some cases, seniors are not hungry because they are feeling lonely and miss the times when they sat down to eat meals with their family members. Taking the time to sit and enjoy a meal with your loved one may encourage him or her to eat more. This tip works even for seniors who do not desire company because the act of watching someone else eat is often enough to make someone feel hungry.
If your loved one needs encouragement to eat healthier foods or focus on other lifestyle factors, consider hiring a professional caregiver. In Columbus, home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. To learn about our revolutionary in-home care plans, give Home Care Assistance a call at (614) 481-8888 today.