Loss of appetite is a common issue faced by many seniors. While it can be a part of aging that many elderly people simply adapt to, it can also be an abnormal loss of appetite that begins to affect a senior’s health. This can lead to weight loss and malnutrition. As part of any senior care plan, you must make sure your elderly parent is eating properly. Here are some tips to ensure your mom or dad is getting a proper nutrition.
Start With a Visit to the Doctor
It’s best to visit a doctor to ensure there is not an underlying health problem affecting the appetite. Disease is one reason your parent may be eating less and not feeling hungry. Sometimes, medications can also suppress the appetite. Your mom or dad’s doctor can help find or rule out any medical reason for a lack of appetite.
Keep Lots of Snack Foods Around
Sometimes, older adults simply prefer to eat multiple small meals rather than one larger one. Keep your mom or dad’s fridge stocked with quick and easy snacks. Things like raw vegetables with hummus, containers of yogurt, fresh fruit, and cheese and crackers may be appealing. Sit down and ask your parent what he or she likes to snack on and keep the kitchen stocked with those foods. A senior care provider can easily grab the list and note items of interest when grocery shopping with your parent.
Try New Things
As a man or woman ages, the senses change. Eyesight may diminish and the taste buds and sense of smell make foods appear different to how your elderly parent remembers them. Overcome sensory changes by trying new things. Take foods your parent hasn’t tried before and give them a try. When you find a new food that your mom and dad loves, note it down for the home care provider.
Visit Regularly at Meal Times
Sometimes your elderly parent may simply skip a larger meal rather than eat alone. If you or other family members stop by at meal times and prepare a meal with your parent, the home care provider, or with other members of the family, eating as a family may appeal to your mom or dad. Having the family gathered around the table can help make eating a full meal more appealing.
With yourself and a senior care provider keeping track of food dislikes and likes, it’s easier to get a parent to eat. Even if it’s smaller meals more frequently throughout the day, you’ll be happy knowing your mom or dad is eating.
If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Eden Prairie, MN, and the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at CareBuilders at Home Minnesota. Call today 612-260-2273.