Dealing with Loss of Appetite in an Aging Parent


A loss of appetite in the elderly is not uncommon.  It is usually a symptom of the overall aging process; as we get older, we eat less.  There are a large number of simple reasons for this. Some of these could be:

  • Body being unable to digest significant volume, shrinking of the stomach.
  • Unable or unwilling to prepare meals for themselves.
  • Medication naturally suppressing hunger.
  • Forgetting to eat.
  • Less exercise, therefore the body needs less calories to be able to function.

On the whole, these need not necessarily be causes for alarm, and every person should be considered individually.  As long as a person maintains a healthy weight and is fit enough and happy enough to lead the life they want,then all is fine.

However, in some cases, a lack of appetite can lead to more serious problems.  It’s not necessarily the reduction in appetite that causes the issues. It’s a lack of nutrients and vitamins in the body that can cause ill health.

Always Best Care has specialist caregivers providing home care in Richmond.  They are experienced in facing these kinds of issues and have the following advice.

Stimulating your Loved One’s Appetite

  • Make their favorite food. People enjoy eating things they like.  Make sure they have the means to make their favorite meals and make sure it’s healthy.  If they aren’t able to prepare it themselves, then a caregiver can help them.
  • Focus on nutrient dense foods. In some cases, eating right is much more important than eating more. As long as the food they eat has the nutrients and vitamins they need for a healthy life, the quantity of it matters less.
  • Stick to a schedule. Sometimes, seniors forget to eat and a schedule can help with this. The body sometimes gets out of practice eating at regular times, and a schedule can retrain it.
  • Encourage healthy grazing. Some people will simply never be able to eat big portions at set mealtimes.  Grazing throughout the day is fine, but make sure it’s healthy.  Chips and dip is unhealthy snacking, not grazing!
  • Offer companionship. Your loved one just may not feel like putting in the effort to prepare and eat a full meal if they are doing it alone.  Provide them with company at mealtimes if at all possible.  At Always Best Care, our caregivers specialize in companionship and have been specially selected to get along with your loved one.

 

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