Dealing with Loss of Appetite in an Aging Parent
Food is what fuels the body, so watching a loved one start to lose their appetite raises all sorts of concerns about their long-term health.
The good news is that a slight loss of interest in food over time is natural. As a person ages, their senses of taste and smell start to dull, making food lose much of its flavor. Inside the body, the stomach’s lining loses its elasticity, making it unable to stretch to fit as much food as it once did. Finally, there are also lifestyle factors to take into consideration, as seniors tend to require fewer calories due to the amount of time they spend resting or sitting in front of the television.
If, however, your loved one’s interest in food starts to diminish rapidly, it may be a sign of a more serious health problem. In this scenario, the best thing to do is visit your loved one’s doctor. They’ll be able to diagnose any issue or reassure you that their loss of appetite isn’t something for you to worry over.
Loli Ramezani, the owner of the in-home care provider, Always Best Care, is all too aware of how important a senior’s diet is to their overall health. Without getting the right amount of nutrients into their body, a senior’s quality of life can quickly begin to suffer, as they spend more time sleeping and less time socializing with others.
Ramezani works with her staff on a daily basis to help encourage seniors in home care in Manhattan Beach to eat more on a regular basis. Together, they’ve come up with three fundamentals they feel help to encourage a senior’s appetite in a natural way. Thankfully, Ramezanihas been kind enough to share those three tips with us, below.
Stick to a Schedule
To help your loved one build a sense of appetite on a daily basis, they need to eat their meals at around the same time every day. This will help the stomach release hunger signals to the brain, which will, in turn, make your loved one more likely to eat a larger portion of food.
Being around friends and family during meal times can help encourage a senior to eat more. Humans have a natural tendency to mimic the behavior of those around them, so if your loved one watches you tuck into your plate of lasagna, they are much more likely to follow suit.
Pick the Right Kinds of Foods
Eating less food doesn’t have to mean a bad thing, especially if you can wean your loved one off saturated fats and onto nutrient-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables.