Malnourishment is a tremendous problem for aging adults because it leaves them depleted of the nutrients and energy that they need in order to be as healthy as possible. Encouraging your senior to eat may not be enough. She may need your help and the help from her elder care providers to figure out what else is causing her to avoid eating.
She Forgets to Eat
There are a lot of reasons your senior could forget to eat. Some of them include cognitive changes she might be experiencing. She may also avoid even the idea of eating because she doesn’t want to eat alone. This is a lot more common than many caregivers realize, and it complicates life for your senior. Sharing meals with her or bringing in elder care providers who can assist can help so much.
She Doesn’t Feel Well
If your elderly family member is experiencing health issues, that can affect her appetite dramatically. Often when someone is feeling off, they may not feel much like eating. If the illness is one that affects her sense of taste, that can be another reason that your senior just doesn’t want to eat.
Food Tastes Different
But it isn’t just illness that can affect your senior’s sense of taste. As she ages, her senses of smell and taste can change, causing her to experience food differently overall. That might mean that her favorite foods aren’t even appealing anymore, much less foods that she just tolerated before.
Medication Side Effects Change Appetite
And if your elderly family member takes medications for her health issues, sometimes those come with side effects that affect her sense of taste. Medications can also reduce your senior’s appetite. It can help if she actively tracks her food intake, simply so that she can keep tabs on how much she is actually eating.
Dental issues are another huge factor. Whether your senior is experiencing difficulty or pain while chewing or she has dental issues, problems with her dentures, or gum problems, all of these affect her ability to eat. If dental hygiene has become difficult for your senior on her own, help from elder care providers might help to resolve some of those issues.
Bringing in Elder Care Services
Managing everything that can affect whether or not your senior is eating regularly can be really difficult. Hiring elder care providers can help you to stay on top of what your senior is eating, how often she’s eating, and whether there are any new issues that need to be addressed.