As people age, it’s normal for their appetite to decrease slightly. However, a considerable loss of appetite isn’t normal and can cause or exacerbate many health problems. If an aging loved one displays a lack of desire to eat, it’s important to understand the causes and work on solutions. With the help of a doctor, nutritionist, or even a trained caregiver, you can promote your loved one’s health and wellness. To ensure your loved one is receiving the necessary vitamins and nutrients from meals, take a moment to learn about some of the top causes of appetite loss in seniors and simple solutions to maximize their health.
Although many medications cause an increase in appetite, some have the opposite effect. If this has become a problem for your parent, consider speaking with his or her doctor. In many cases, switching to a different drug or altering the dosage can reduce or eliminate this side effect. When attending a checkup with your parent, make sure to either bring a list of all medications or supplements your loved one is taking or put all the containers in a bag to bring with you.
A trained caregiver can provide expertise and additional support to encourage your loved one to eat well. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of home care service. You can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide an individualized care plan to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits, such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.
The body relies on a variety of nutrients to maintain appetite and proper digestive function. Among these are sodium, vitamin B12, zinc, and niacin. If your loved one hasn’t been eating regularly for some time, or if his or her ability to properly digest food is compromised, he or she may not be getting the nutrients needed to support a normal appetite. You can help by providing supplements or foods rich in these nutrients. However, it’s important to use care with supplements. Always speak with the doctor first to make sure there are no harmful interactions with any prescription medications your loved one is taking. A fiber supplement might also prove useful if your loved one is experiencing constipation, bloating, or gas, which can make eating uncomfortable.
Helping seniors get proper nutrition when they don’t want to eat can be exhausting for family caregivers. If you’re the primary family caregiver for an elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality home care, Oshkosh Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age.
Not Eating Regularly
Neglecting to eat regularly for an extended period can actually cause the appetite to decrease even more. This is because the body adjusts to the caloric deficit and no longer sends reliable hunger signals to the brain. It’s very common for seniors to fail to eat regularly, often because of dementia, physical weakness, or other health problems. If you can’t always be there to make sure your loved one is eating, hiring a trained in-home caregiver is something to consider.
From preparing meals to eating their food, older adults may require assistance with a wide variety of tasks. Whether your elderly loved one needs part-time assistance with basic household chores or you need a break from your caregiving duties, the Oshkosh respite care experts at Home Care Assistance are here to help. All of our respite care services are backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts. Contact one of our experienced Care Managers today at (920) 573-6295 to learn more about our reliable in-home care services.