Dealing with Loss of Appetite in an Aging Parent

It is an unavoidable fact that, as some people get older, their appetite reduces.  Sometimes, this can be by a large amount and can be of concern.

As a rule of thumb, if your loved one is healthy, fit, and happy, then their lack of appetite should not necessarily be a worry.  However, if they are fatigued and consistently suffering with illness, then it could be a sign that their reduced food intake is meaning they are not getting vital vitamins & nutrients.

Whilst a lack of appetite can be something as simple as a side effect to medication, there can also be various other reasons, both physical and mental.

Stimulating your Loved One’s Appetite

If you have concerns that your loved one’s lack of appetite has affected their health, then have a look at some of the following options for stimulating them into eating more.

  • Make their favorite food. Always Best Care provides elderly care in Monroe in people’s own homes.  We can plan and prepare their favorite food and make enough to save in batches in the freezer.  Sometimes, a lack of appetite can be as simple as your loved one no longer getting the food they want.
  • Focus on nutrient dense foods. Eating less is OK as long as what you are eating is providing the nutrition you need to stay healthy.  Avoiding full fat dairy and high salt intake is important, as is eating fresh fruit and vegetables or ‘superfood’, such as salmon and avocado.
  • Stick to a schedule. Schedules are great for simply reminding people when to eat.  Maybe your loved one has gotten out of the practice of eating at regular times.
  • Encourage healthy grazing. Grazing or snacking is usually discouraged, but if your loved one is unable to eat full meals at regular times, then it can be a suitable alternative.  Healthy snacking is important though; fruits, nuts and whole grains are excellent, as are smoothies, for those who find digestion more difficult.
  • Offer companionship. Sometimes, people lose their appetite, because they simply can’t bear to eat alone.  If you are unable to be with your loved one at mealtimes, then perhaps arrange for one of their friends to be available.  Simple companionship is something we can provide at Always Best Care.

Try to be patient with your loved one’s lack of appetite, even though it can prove to be a frustrating time.  Trying some or all the above options may give you something to build on that could ultimately help with appetite in the long-term.

If we can help at Always Best Care, please give us a call to arrange a free consultation.

Posted In: Senior Care