Dealing with Loss of Appetite in an Aging Parent
Older age often brings with it changes to the way seniors eat on a daily basis, which can lead to worry for families responsible for their care.
Thankfully, any gradual reduction in a senior’s appetite is not usually due to illness or disease, but more often than not, just a natural part of the ageing process. As a senior’s stomach gradually loses it elasticity, it become unable to stretch to consume the same portion sizes it once did.
Eating less doesn’t always equate to poorer health either, with some seniors thriving in their later years thanks to losing weight that used to hinder their mobility.
Finding that fine line between making sure a senior’s body receives the nutrients it needs and not making them feel uncomfortable with the amount they’re being asked to eat is something Phil Stringer has to do on a daily basis. Stringer is the owner of the in-home care provider, Always Best Care, and a lot of his staff are responsible for helping cook and feed seniors at meal times.
Stringer has been kind enough to share three tips he and his team use to encourage seniors in home care in Greensboro to eat more on a regular basis.
Make it Social
From the moment we are born, it’s instinct for us to mimic the behavior of those around us. It’s how we learn wrong from right, and it effects our daily lives more than many of us realize.
In a meal setting, seniors are likely to consume more at a social event, such as being with friends or family in a restaurant or at their local community center. Watching others eat subliminally encourages them to do the same, while being around others also helps to them to fight off any feelings of depression.
Keep it Scheduled
A senior’s schedule for eating any meals should be kept as similar as can be on a day-to-day basis. This allows the stomach and the body to work together to release symptoms of hunger minutes before they sit down for any meal. Building a sense of appetite will help a senior to desire food, rather than dread it.
Cook Nutrient Rich Meals
If a senior isn’t going to eat much, it’s better they consume something packed with nutrients as opposed to sugars or fats. Fruits and vegetables are always a good starting point, but even foods that aren’t necessarily seen as healthy, such as peanut butter, can be beneficial due to the amount of protein and potassium they contain.