Dealing with Loss of Appetite in an Aging Parent
One of the most worrying elements of caring for a loved one is a sudden loss of appetite. On one hand, it’s natural for the stomach to become less elasticated over time, which means it is not able to hold as much food, but on the other hand, there’s a worry over whether our loved one is receiving the fuel they need to survive.
Toeing this fine line has always been a tricky task for Vanessa Taylor, owner of the in-home care provider, Always Best Care. Many of the seniors she’s responsible for lack a reasonable appetite, but part of her role is to ensure they always eat enough to stay healthy.
Over the years, Taylor has developed a three-point plan that she claims, not only encourages seniors in home care in Bethlehem to eat more, but also does so in a way that doesn’t seem forced or uncomfortable. Thankfully, she’s been kind enough to share her plan with us below.
Keeping a senior to a strict eating schedule helps the stomach to send hunger signals to the brain at the appropriate time of day. If a senior is constantly snacking, it’s unlikely the stomach will ever reach the point where it’s empty enough to make a senior want to eat a full meal.
Believe it or not, humans are a bunch of copycats. We learn to mimic the behavior of others from the moment we’re born and carry on doing it subconsciously until the day we die.
This behavior can be incredibly handy when it comes to making a senior eat more food. We’ve found that, if a senior is in the company of others when they sit down for a meal, whether that be in their own home or at their local community center, they often eat more as a result of their friends and family eating at the same time.
If your loved one’s appetite is diminishing to the point where their eating habits are causing you great concern, it’s important that you try to make whatever they’re willing to eat as nutritional as possible. Any type of fruit, vegetable, fish, nut, or low-fat dairy product is more than likely to provide beneficial substances to the body, so try to incorporate these ingredients in everything you cook or prepare.