A loss of appetite can result in malnutrition, and this affects about 3.7 million older Americans. Malnutrition may harm the immune system, inhibit wound healing, and decrease bone mass. It is dangerous for the elderly to undergo severe weight loss. Together with focusing on the appetite, we have to find out if there is an underlying issue. A loss of appetite can be due to a medical issue or a side effect of medication. Other problems such as depression, gastrointestinal problems, diabetes, and heart problems can also lead to a decrease in appetite. Sometimes it can even be due to poorly fitting dentures. When you discover the underlying cause, you can focus on tips to regain your appetite. Read on to learn more about the ways to help your loved ones regain their appetite!
While most of us have three meals a day, it may not be suitable for an elder person. They might require five or six smaller meals which help encourage calorie consumption. Snacking may in fact be a good thing for an older person with a poor appetite. Having enough calories is important to maintaining nutrition and weight. It is recommended to have one large meal and healthy snacks during the day.
Offer Flavorful Meals
We enjoy food using our eyes first, so ensure that meals are colorful and attractive. Colorful food like vegetables and fresh fruits are high in nutrients. You can use herbs and spices to add flavor to your food. Restricted diets such as low sodium diets can be bland, so you need to find other ways to flavor food. Offer comfort food such as treats from a person’s childhood might help to improve their appetite.
Make Mealtimes Special
Loneliness, isolation, or boredom may lead to a loss of appetite. It is best to join the elderly person for mealtimes. You may invite them over to your house or out for dinner. Look for social programs such as lunch programs at the senior center where socialization at mealtimes is encouraged.
Check Health and Hydration
Dehydration can lead to loss of appetite. Do take in sufficient fluids throughout the day. A possible underlying cause of the loss of appetite is dysphagia, which is a swallowing disorder caused by Parkinson’s disease or stroke.
We often hear that laughter is the best medicine. Laughter can actually improve appetite. Laughter stimulates the production of ghrelin, which is the hunger hormone and decreases the production of leptin. Sharing jokes, reminiscing about funny memories, and watching funny movies can help lift our spirits and increase our appetite.
Rittenhouse Village At Portage
At Rittenhouse Village At Portage, we have built the best senior living community with comfortable apartment homes and excellent amenities. If you face issues with your appetite during mealtimes and require someone to help you regain your appetite, consider staying with us. Do contact us to find out more today!