It's disturbing to see your loved one eating less and less and feeling powerless to do anything about it. Because you're her family caregiver, it becomes your job to look for potential causes so that you can help her to start eating properly again. It may take a little bit of detective work, but one or more of these issues may be a part of the problem.
It's Too Much Effort
It's not easy to plan meals, shop, and cook for just one person. At some point, it's possible that it starts to become too much for your loved one to feel that she wants to mess with on her own. You can alleviate some of this by taking over those duties for her or by splitting those duties amongst other family members. Other solutions, such as senior agencies or even meal delivery services might be helpful, too.
Food Just Isn't Appealing
Many elderly loved ones find that they begin to lose their senses of taste and smell as they grow older. Or they're on restrictive diets that make food less appealing to them. Regardless, food just isn't enjoyable and therefore becomes something your loved one can take or leave. Unfortunately, deciding to leave it can lead to other issues.
It Hurts to Eat
If your love one has difficulty with either chewing properly or swallowing, then eating can actually be quite painful. Make sure that you keep up with dental appointments, even if she has dentures. It's also important to ask her during a calm moment how she feels during and after she eats. She may not think to mention what happens, but asking can prompt her to share.
Side Effects Are Sidelining Her Appetite
Some medications that your loved one is taking may have side effects that reduce her appetite. It's worth tracking that, especially when your loved one has switched to a new medication. Your loved one's doctor can help to narrow down side effects that could be a result of medications. From there, your loved one's doctor might change her prescription or adjust it to help her get her appetite back.
Work with your loved one's doctor to find solutions so that your loved one can get the nutrition that she needs.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Darien, CT or the surrounding areas, please contact SYNERGY HomeCare of Stamford, CT at 203-661-6969.