People tend to lose their appetite as they advance in age. This could lead to a host of problems, starting off with weight loss and malnutrition, and potentially growing into further complications. That is why a delicate balance must be observed when it comes to elderly appetite.
In order to address this issue, however, the causes for appetite loss in adults must first be identified.
Causes of Loss in Elderly Appetite
One of the most common reasons why seniors lose appetite is because it is a symptom of an underlying condition. Diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, as well as cancer, are known to affect the patient’s appetite. Salivary gland issues can also result in a lack of interest in food.
Apart from this, however, it can also be caused by an environmental factor, such as a lack of routine or exercise, physical difficulty in preparing their own meals, or even the lack of an enjoyable dining experience because of loneliness or depression.
In other cases, appetite loss is caused by medication. That’s why it’s important to always check the list of side-effects that come with a particular drug or medication. If the medication causes appetite loss, which is an entirely different problem all on its own, you should talk to your senior’s doctor to consider changing the medication to something that would not cause loss of appetite. If It cannot be helped, then at least ask for supplements that can counter that symptom
If it’s none of the above, but your senior is still losing the appetite, check their dentures. Ill-fitting dentures can cause a lot of discomfort to the wearer, which can make eating more of a painful activity to endure rather than enjoy on a regular basis. In fact, you don’t need to be a denture-wearing senior to know that when you suffer from toothache, the last thing you’d want to do is chew.
How to Improve Elderly Appetite
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can try to help resolve this issue. One of them is to do an oral check. As mentioned above, ill-fitting dentures can cause a whole lot of problems, too, but it’s not the only one. Mouth sores, difficulty in swallowing, and more, can also lead to appetite loss. Make sure to do a regular oral inspection so that you may catch and resolve these issues at the soonest possible time.
If the issue is environmental, then make the solution one, too. Seniors in living communities tend to feel alone. Setting up a simple opportunity for them to dine together just might do the trick in getting them to socialize and have a fun dinner, for example.
Keep Seniors Well-Fed and Hydrated
Drinking water to stay hydrated is crucial to seniors because it aids in their overall digestion and regularity. Make drinking stations accessible to them, and constantly remind them to drink some water. Most importantly, get them involved in preparing their meal. Having a hand in its preparation might increase their excitement for the food, and thus, eventually, increase their appetite as well.
To make sure that your senior’s loss of appetite is not a mere system of another underlying condition, it’s best to consult first with your doctor.
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