Low appetite or having little appetite is very common in seniors. Seniors with dementia may forget that they need to eat or forget that they haven’t eaten and they may be unable to read their body’s hunger cues such as a growling stomach. Other seniors may have little appetite because of the side effects of the medications they take. And others may not want to eat because of illnesses like depression. Whatever the reason for the low appetite is if you have a senior parent that isn’t eating you can try these recommended ways to get them to eat more and eat regularly:
Join Them For Meals
Very few people enjoy eating alone. Eating meals with your senior loved one is an easy way to encourage them to eat regular meals. If you can’t be there at meals like breakfast or lunch an elder care provider can help your senior loved one prepare meals and then can share those meals with your senior parent. Seniors usually will eat more and eat healthier when they have a companion like an elder care provider to cook meals with and eat with. Let your senior loved one help plan the meals and cook them to make mealtime an event and not just another chore.
Pack The House With Snacks
Some seniors just don’t want meals. They don’t want the hassle, and they don’t feel like eating large amounts of food at one time. That’s ok. Fill the house with snacks that are packed with nutrition and encourage them to snack regularly. Protein shakes are a great source of essential protein, which seniors often don’t get enough of. You can also try to get them to eat protein rich snacks like cheese or yogurt. Smoothies are another highly nutritious snack that can get seniors the nutrition they need. Fruit bars, pre-packed salads, and other easy to eat snacks can provide just as much nutrition as traditional meals for seniors.
Cook The Classics
Another way to encourage your senior parent to eat is to cook the meals that they have loved for years, like the meals that they used to make for you as a child. Maybe it’s a classic home made spaghetti and meatballs or maybe it’s a pork chop recipe that’s been in the family for several generations but every family has those certain family meals that are part of the family lore. If you find that your senior parent is experiencing low appetite and just doesn’t want to eat see if you can tempt them to eat more meals by making those classic family dishes with them.
Keep The Cleanup Easy
Leave the fine family heirloom china on the shelf and get into convenience by using paper plates, paper bowls, and paper towels to eat meals on. Seniors will be more likely to eat a meal or a snack if they’re not going to need to wash a pile of dishes when they’re done. Keep it simple and encourage your loved one to grab a quick snack throughout the day.
If you or an aging loved one are considering non-medical in-home care in Scarsdale and Yonkers, NY, call Griswold Home Care
and speak to one of our caring staff members today. Call (914) 768-9065