Unfortunately, there are many senior citizens who lose their appetite. While sometimes this isn’t a reason to worry, there are other times when it can cause issues for your elderly loved one. Depending on how severe their loss of appetite is, it could cause malnutrition and other health problems. The good news is that there are some tips that might help you and elderly care providers to improve your elderly loved one’s appetite.
Making Favorite Meals
What are your elderly loved one’s favorite meals? What type of food do they like the best? Make a list of these foods or meals and go shopping for them. You could have your loved one’s elderly care providers make these meals when they are there, too.
Foods That are Nutrient-Dense
It is important that your elderly loved one is getting the nutrients they need. If they don’t have much of an appetite, this is even more important. You should try to convince your loved one to eat foods that are filled with nutrients. Even if they only get 1 or 2 servings, this is better than nothing. You should have your elderly loved one try to eat more vegetables, fruits, salmon, nuts, and peanut butter.
Schedules Can Help
If you are trying to help your elderly loved one eat more, you should put them on a schedule. Have them sit down for breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the same time every day. Make sure they aren’t snacking much throughout the day or that could affect their appetite during mealtimes. By scheduling their mealtimes, it can help your loved one’s body to get adjusted to eating regularly throughout the day. This could help to stimulate their appetite.
Grazing is an Option
If you still can’t get your elderly loved one to eat much at their mealtimes, you can have some healthy snack options available, so they can graze on those throughout the course of each day. While these shouldn’t replace every meal, if they aren’t eating, something has to be done. If their doctor gives the okay, you can also give your elderly loved one nutritional supplements and smoothies to replace a meal. This shouldn’t become a regular thing, however.
Your elderly loved one might just want someone to eat with them. If possible, you or their elderly care provider, should sit down and have meals with them. This can reduce the feeling of loneliness and depression – possibly helping to increase your loved one’s appetite.
These are just some of the things that can be done if your elderly loved one has lost their appetite. If your elderly loved one still won’t eat anything, be sure you get them to their doctor right away.