Why Does the Appetite Change as You Age?
— August 23rd, 2018
You’ve noticed your mom and dad don’t eat as much. It’s getting hard cooking meals for them because of the wasted items. Why does the appetite change as you age?
Many Things Can Trigger Appetite Declines
–Senior citizens are more likely to have at least one chronic health condition. When they start taking medications, some can trigger stomach upset and nausea. Chemo treatments can cause nausea and vomiting.
-If your parent is depressed, it can lead to changes in their appetite and weight loss. Health conditions like diabetes, congestive heart failure, and constipation may also lead to a decline in appetite.
-It could be that your parent doesn’t like to eat alone. If that’s the case, your mom or dad might eat better when company is around. You need to have family members and friends gather more often for family meals together. Make these gatherings easy by having everyone bring a dish and set up a potluck meal.
What Do You Do?
Talk to your mom or dad’s doctor to see if there is a medical reason for the lack of appetite. If the medications your parent takes are messing with their appetite, changing those prescriptions may help. If there’s an underlying health condition, it can be treated.
You might have success switching your parent to smaller meals. Instead of three daily meals, break the meals up into six smaller ones that are spaced evenly. Serve a light breakfast and a mid-morning snack, lunch and a late-afternoon snack, dinner and a before-bed snack. This also helps maintain blood sugar levels better.
Instead of filling meals, you could also mix up meals with protein shakes. This also helps keep your parent from becoming dehydrated. Make a shake using a frozen banana, unsweetened almond milk, and some peanut butter powder.
If your parent is not eating as much and not losing weight, it’s not really a major concern. Most doctors say it’s when your parents lose 10 percent or more of their usual weight that it becomes important to schedule an appointment.
Cook Meals to Order
Instead of wasting food, hire a home care specialist to prepare meals for your parents. Caregivers can sit down with your parents, plan a weekly menu, shop for ingredients, and make the meals. Caregivers can also stay and eat with them and ease the feelings of loneliness. Call a home care agency to discuss pricing.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Elder Care in Toronto, please contact the caring staff at Geri Health Home Care today. Call us at 416-431-6266. Serving Greater Toronto Area, Markham, Richmond Hill and Vaughan.