If you are seeking the best senior care in Boca Raton, you want to know that you can rest assured knowing that care is going to extend to helping seniors get a good nutritious diet. But when a senior does not want to eat, the challenge becomes even greater for ensuing they receive the nutrition they need to stay healthy.
But this goes beyond finding the right diets for seniors and it’s more about getting the food, any food, into their mouths when they refuse to eat due to a loss of appetite.
For situations such as this, there could be any number of reasons why an elderly adult has no appetite. Medications could play a role in appetite suppression, there could be difficulties in the actual consumption of food, there may not be enough of it available, and so on. It’s up to you to not only determine the problem but to come up with a solution. Unfortunately, that is often much easier said than done as a reluctant senior will not often be forthcoming as to why he or she doesn’t have an appetite.
A lack of appetite could be many things but the most important to rule out first is a serious medical condition that is having this effect. Dental issues could also be preventing a senior from wanting to eat, because it could be too painful. The appetite is there but the pain and discomfort are too much to bear and they are willing to forego food as a result.
While you may have trouble finding out why a senior is reluctant to eat, you do want to get to the bottom of the matter by making sure there isn’t a serious underlying medical or dental problem.
Working to Get Past A Lack of Appetite
A senior who doesn’t want to eat because he or she has no appetite is risking their health and well-being. You can try to explain that to your elderly adult and it may sink in or it may not. But if your senior is not willing to eat, here are some of the things you may want to attempt:
Set A Schedule
Putting your elderly adult on a regular schedule for meals and snacks can help prepare them for specific times as to when food will be served and available, and more important, expected to be consumed. The sensations associated with hunger tend to emerge less often as we age and putting a dependence on the senior to tell you when they are hungry is probably something that should be avoided.
Putting the food in front of them on a set schedule can have a much more effective result. Serve meals that don’t rely on utensils.
As seniors age they can start to experience difficulty in the use of utensils. These include forks, knives, and spoons, and when a senior is fumbling with such items and having trouble using them to eat, that individual will be less inclined to want food. They may feel embarrassment or frustration with their diminished capabilities and shun the idea of having to use them altogether.
As an alternative, serve meals and snacks that don’t require utensils. Finger foods can make seniors much more willing to want to eat. Try foods like chicken nuggets, fish sticks, mozzarella sticks, raw vegetables, pretzels, anything that is easily picked up and eaten.
Try Liquid Foods for Nourishment
Sometimes seniors can have trouble chewing their food. They may find it uncomfortable or even tiring to do and if there is a dental issue that is being treated, the pain can be too much to bear. If chewing is making your senior less likely to eat, turn to liquid nourishment as a solution.
We’re talking about milkshakes and smoothies loaded with fruits and/or vegetables, soups of all kinds that are based have broth or cream bases. For the latter of these options, be sure that any chunks of food that are in the soup are easy to swallow with chewing or very soft so that chewing is effortless.
Medication Side Effects
Dry mouth is one of the more prevalent among these, while some medications can suppress the appetite as a side effect. Another common side effect causes a metallic or unpleasant taste in the mouth which could also make a senior lose his or her interest in eating food.
Dry mouth could be fixed through methods to get saliva flowing again such as sugarless gum or an oral rinse. The metallic taste issue could be managed through the use of plastic utensils.