Have you ever noticed that your aging loved one doesn't seem to enjoy their favorite foods as much as they once did? Are they turning into picky eaters? Maybe they've lost all interest in food? These are common symptoms of aging. However, appetite loss can lead to health problems and can even be an indication of other health issues. Learn more about appetite loss and how you can help your loved one regain their interest in food.
Appetite Loss in Seniors
Elderly dietary problems can be caused by a number of different factors: lack of interest in food due to changing taste buds, depression, loneliness, lack of energy to cook, health conditions, and medication side effects, to name just a few.
Keep an eye on your loved one to look for signs of appetite loss. Below are a few ways to help diagnose early warning signs:
Set regular eating schedules.
Incorporate nutrient dense foods such as peanut butter or avocado to help add calories.
Keep track of your loved one's weight. If your loved one drops more than 5-10 pounds, call their primary care physician.
Make sure your loved one has regular dental exams. This will help ensure there are no additional physical problems that could interfere with eating.
If possible, eat a few meals at home with your loved one. If you do not live in the same city, have someone, a neighbor, friend etc, eat with your loved one. This will help you identify and pay attention to how much he/she really eats and what they are eating.
As we age, our appetites change as well. Food becomes bland, and tasteless. When that happens, we lose our excitement about food. To add extra flavor, try simmering foods in either beef or chicken stock rather than water, or use fresh herbs.
If you are still worried about your loved one's diet and appetite, consult your primary care physician or a dietician for recommendations.