Dealing with Loss of Appetite in an Aging Parent – Potomac

If you have a loved one receiving home care in Potomac, chances are, you may have seen a reduction in appetite.  This is perfectly normal in elderly people and shouldn’t always be treated as a cause for concern.

What is important, however, is assuring that your loved one is getting all the nutrients that are vital to their wellbeing.  Eating less is one thing, but eating poorly is another matter entirely.

Generally, if your loved one is eating less, but is fit, healthy, active, and happy, then you probably have very little to worry about.  But if your loved one is eating less and is tired, unhappy, or showing signs of illness, then these could be indicators their body is reacting poorly to their diet.  Lack of vitamins and nutrients affects the immune system, which is vital to the body’s wellbeing.

Stimulating your Loved One’s Appetite

  • Make their favorite food. People eat more of the food they like. Fairly straightforward, and as long as the food they like contains the nutrients they need, then it doesn’t matter if they have it as often as they like.  If possible, make it in bulk and freeze portions.  Some elderly people find it hard to make a meal from scratch, and this will make it easier for them.
  • Focus on nutrient dense foods. Eating food with goodness attached is what we are trying to achieve overall.  Get rid of processed food and introduce them to whole grain, lean protein, and fresh produce.  If they like things, such as salmon or avocado, then encourage regular consumption of them. These are ‘superfoods’!
  • Stick to a schedule. Schedules are a good memory aid for those people who may forget to eat.
  • Encourage healthy grazing. A lot of elderly people prefer to eat little and often, rather than large meals at set times.  This is a perfectly acceptable option, as long as they realize snacking must be healthy.
  • Offer companionship. One of the appeals of restaurants is the sociable side.  People like to eat with company.  If your aging parent is not getting company, then they may just not have the desire to eat.  Arrange for a friend or your loved one’s caregiver to be around at meal

As you can see from the above options, a loss of appetite need not necessarily be an issue as long as your loved one is getting what they need out of their diet.  Eating right is more important than eating more.

Posted In: Senior Care