A healthy diet is a cornerstone of senior living, but sometimes family members may notice their older relative is not eating as much as he or she should. There are a number of reasons why your senior loved one may have a smaller appetite than in years past, and recognizing the underlying cause could improve senior care.
The most important thing to recognize is that a loss of appetite is not a normal part of aging, and can often be a warning sign of a much larger problem. Perhaps most significantly, experts say that dementia can be one of the biggest reasons older adults start to eat less. Additionally, everything from depression to side effects of medication can cause a loss in appetite.
Whatever the reason is, senior care providers can improve the diets of older adults who may be eating less. Sometimes, a senior not eating enough could be due to an unwillingness, or inability, to cook. Home care providers can lend a hand with meal preparation, placing an emphasis on nutrient-dense foods that may make seniors more likely to eat a healthy meal.
Companionship care can also help seniors eat more. For instance, dining alone may make older adults less likely to eat regular meals. Having someone to enjoy lunch or dinner with, whether it be a family member or a friend, can help solve the problem.