Overcoming Loss of Appetite
Many seniors find that as they age, they don’t experience hunger the way they used to, leading to loss of weight and poor nutrition. Since our bodies run on what we feed them, it’s important to ensure we get all of the calories, vitamins, and nutrients we need to stay healthy.
There are many potential causes for losing our appetite as we get older, some physical and some emotional.
- Depression: Sadly common in seniors, depression causes a loss of appetite due to feeling too sad or not energized enough to prepare food and feed oneself.
- Medications: A common side effect for many medications is loss of appetite.
- Chronic illnesses: Many seniors who experience pain or sickness daily have trouble managing their condition enough to ensure proper food intake.
- Mobility issues: Trouble with seeing, hearing, moving around the house, or using our hands to perform dexterous tasks can make preparing meals too much of an insurmountable challenge for many seniors.
No matter what may be the root cause for your loved one to have difficulty with meals in their advanced years, there are solutions.
- Seasoning: Age brings about a loss of sensitivity and many seniors find foods they once enjoyed suddenly bland and uninspiring. Experimenting with new seasonings used more strongly can make food more tasteful, making it more enjoyable.
- Scheduling: By making mealtimes a regular thing, at regularly appointed times of the day, you can remove any doubt or uncertainty when it comes to eating.
- Get help: If you can’t be with your loved one daily to help them eat, an in-home caregiver can be a great option, meeting with them a few times a week to once a day to help them with preparing meals.