Over time, your elderly family member's appetite can change, leaving her eating far less often than you would like to see. But there are some solutions that you can put into place that can help. Switching to lighter meals more often can help, as can having help with cooking.
Appetite Is Complicated
The human appetite itself is a complicated thing. Smell, taste, and even mood can have a huge impact on whether your elderly family member feels like eating or not. Physical and environmental factors all play a big part in nutrition for aging adults. If your senior is cooking for herself, she may not feel much like doing so regularly, either, which can be a problem.
Most people become hungry, or experience an increase in appetite, because their appetite is triggered. Some of the biggest triggers for appetite can be smell and taste, and if those are different for your senior, she may not experience hunger in the same way. Your elderly family member may also start to feel the internal signs of hunger differently, which can lead to forgetting to eat.
Other Factors Can Be in Play
So many other factors contribute, too. Your elderly family member may be less active now than she has been in the past. This decrease in activity can result in a much lower appetite than either of you are used to for her. If she has trouble with her teeth or with dentures, then eating can be painful for her, causing her to avoid eating. Medication side effects are another common cause of appetite changes. All of these issues can be creating issues all at once, which makes finding a solution a little more complicated.
Your Senior Still Needs Nutrition
The bottom line is that your elderly family member does still need to eat and put nutrition into her body. What she eats and how often she eats are important. If you're not able to cook for your senior, consider hiring elderly care providers to handle the meal preparation. They can help prompt your senior to eat regularly, too, which can be another concern.
Understanding the changes that are taking place for your elderly family member can help you to find the answers when she's not as excited about eating. Make sure that you talk with her doctor, as well, to determine if there's anything else that can help. Sometimes a change in medication dosage can make a big difference for her.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Elsie, MI, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors of Lansing. Call today: 517-332-9953.