Loss of Appetite Among Seniors: Causes & Solutions

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As people age, it’s normal for their appetite to decline slightly. However, a considerable loss of appetite isn’t normal and can cause or exacerbate many health problems. If an aging loved one displays a lack of desire to eat, it’s important to understand the causes and work on solutions, With the help of doctors, nutritionists or even a trained 24/7 or hourly Greater Hartford caregiver, you can help promote health and wellness for your aging loved one.

To help ensure that seniors are receiving the vitamins and nutrients they need from their meals, we’ve listed some of the top causes of loss of appetite among seniors and simple solutions to maximize health.

Medications

Although many medications cause an increase in appetite, some have the opposite effect. If this has become a problem for an aging parent, consider speaking with his or her doctor. In many cases, switching to a different drug or altering the dosage can reduce or eliminate this side effect. When attending this check-up, be sure to either bring a list of all medications or supplements that your aging loved one is taking or put all containers in a bag to bring with you.

Nutritional Deficiencies

The body relies on a variety of nutrients to maintain appetite and digestive ability. Among these are sodium, vitamin B12, zinc and niacin. If your loved one has not been eating regularly for some time, or if their ability to properly digest food is compromised, they may not be getting the nutrients they need to support a normal appetite. You can help by providing supplements or foods rich in these nutrients. However, it’s important to use care with supplements. Always speak with their doctor first to make sure there are no harmful interactions with any prescription medications they’re taking. A fiber supplement might also prove useful if your aging loved one is struggling with constipations, bloating or gas, which can make eating uncomfortable.

Not Eating Regularly

Neglecting to eating regularly for an extended period of time can actually cause appetite to decrease further and further. This is because the body adjuststo the caloric deficit and no longer sends reliable hunger signals to the brain. It’s very common for seniors to fail to eat regularly, often because of dementia, physical weakness or other health problems. If you can’t always be there to make sure they’re eating, hiring a trained in-home caregiver in Greater Hartford is something to consider. This trained care companion will be able to prepare meals, help with eating and ensure that your aging loved onehas regularly scheduled meals.

As a leading provider of in-home care in Greater Hartford, we have all of our caregivers to undergo culinary training to ensure that they’re educated in how to prepare delicious meals that contain the proper nutrients that senior adults need. For more information on our senior care services, call 860-372-4500.