Keeping seniors on nutritious diets is often challenging for family caregivers. Some seniors are disinterested in food, so they may not eat enough at mealtimes. There are both mental and physical reasons why seniors may no longer enjoy eating. If your senior loved one is not interested in food, it may be due to one of the following reasons.
1. Tasteless Food
People tend to lose their senses of smell and taste as they age. Many seniors do not feel hunger because they cannot smell or taste their food properly anymore, which could lead to skipping meals regularly. If your loved one complains that his or her food is too bland to eat, consider adding additional flavours. Extra fats, sugars, salts, and acids can make foods taste more flavourful while providing seniors with some much-needed calories.
Losing appetite is just one of the many health issues seniors may have to face. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home care workers who provide high-quality home care. North Coast families trust in Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.
2. Medication Side Effects
Many prescribed medications can reduce a senior’s appetite. A reduced appetite can occur because certain medications leave a bad taste in the mouth, cause nausea, or dull sensations of hunger. Stimulants, Alzheimer’s drugs, and antidepressants are particularly likely to disrupt appetite. If your loved one is on medications known to impact hunger, talk to his or her doctor about possible alternatives that do not affect appetite.
3. Difficulty Eating
Diminished mobility or dental disorders can make it difficult for seniors to eat. When every bite is a challenge, some seniors may feel it is easier to avoid eating altogether. If your loved one is experiencing pain with each bite, it may be time to visit the dentist. Consider serving food in bite-sized pieces if your loved one has difficulty cutting it. Soft foods make mealtimes less stressful for seniors.
For many seniors, mealtimes were a valuable time for socialising when they were growing up. After years spent enjoying the company of friends and family members during mealtimes, some seniors may end up feeling like food is pointless if it is not accompanied with friendship. If possible, try to eat at least one meal a day with your loved one.
Socialisation at mealtimes can make eating an interesting and enjoyable activity for seniors. For families living in North Coast, NSW, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their ageing loved ones need companionship and socialisation a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home.
5. Digestive Issues
The digestive tract becomes more sensitive with age, so seniors may experience acid reflux, indigestion, stomach pain, cramping, gas, or nausea after eating certain foods. Your loved one may subconsciously be avoiding food because eating makes him or her feel uncomfortable. Try to include more probiotics and fibre in your loved one’s diet to promote digestion, and avoid serving dairy or other products that trigger gastrointestinal upset. If the issue continues, you may need to speak to a doctor about medications.
Creating a comprehensive home care plan is one of the best ways to ensure your loved one remains well-fed and happy in the comfort of home. Find out today if your family is eligible for a North Coast, NSW, home care package. Once you’ve been assessed, reach out to Home Care Assistance to create a customised care plan that can best meet your elderly loved one’s care needs. Our professional in-home care workers can assist with meal prep, medication management, personal hygiene tasks, and much more. To learn about our premier in-home care plans, give us a call at (02) 6646 3527 today.