Older adults often lose their appetite, but determining the cause is essential for obtaining an optimal resolution. Finding out if any underlying medical illnesses are causing this loss of appetite should be done first; Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, thyroid disorders, and cancer could all lead to a decrease in food consumption. Additionally, mouth infections or salivary gland problems can affect taste buds and make meals less appealing. Last, but not least, check with your doctor about potential side effects from medications that may impact the way foods tastes leading to decreased intake as well.

In addition to the physical needs of seniors, it is important to consider their emotional health as well. Dehydration and lack of exercise can be detrimental; however, loneliness, depression, or grieving may also impact a senior’s overall wellbeing if not addressed. These are real feelings our older adults have and need to be acknowledged to help them through those times of sadness. Empathy goes a long way since the older adults can sometimes feel invisible to the world.

Dental hygiene should likewise never go overlooked since difficulty in swallowing or chewing meals could indicate tooth and gum disease requiring medical attention.

Encouraging older adults to eat a certain way can pose a challenge, but it’s possible with the right approach.
Ideas for boosting nutrition include:
– Offering small servings of nutrient-rich dishes at regular times throughout the day
– Stocking up on healthy snacks such as fruit and cheese
– Drinking water in between meals instead of sugary options like soda
– Ensuring no utensils are necessary by providing finger foods that require little effort from your loved one to consume them.
– Reducing solitary eating time in favor of shared meal times, may encourage appetite and reduce loneliness.

Working with a care manager is very helpful when there are eating concerns as we are able to review their current needs and work with them and the family to alleviate concerns surrounding eating. We can recommend professional therapies that assist with nutritional concerns and follow up to see how they are working. In today’s world, there are many resolutions available and they can be tailored to the specific needs of your loved one.

Our assistance can go beyond just assisting with nutrition and we can look at the whole pictures or care to create a plan that meets their care needs both now and into the future. If you live at a distance, having a care manager brings peace to a family that can’t be there as often as they would like for the older adult. Our focus is on meeting the needs of the individual where they are and helping them have the best quality of life possible.

If you or someone in your family are facing concerns about nutrition or other aging related challenges, please give us a call at (920) 740-8441 or email us at sue@coylecaremanagement.com to find out how we can help!