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Understanding Senior Loss of Appetite

Loss of appetite is fairly common among seniors. In some cases, it can simply be less of appetite for sweets, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, if a loss of appetite is resulting in substantial weight loss or health-related issues due to a nutritional imbalance, it’s time to find out what’s causing the decrease in appetite.

What Causes a Loss of Appetite in Seniors?

While various factors could result in a senior’s loss of appetite, Greenwich Home Care Assistance has found the following to be the most common reasons:

  • Side Effects of Medications – Some medications that seniors take may, in fact, be the reason for their decreased appetite. It could also be due to failing to take certain medications with food as directed, which may result in nausea or leave a bad aftertaste in the mouth.
  • Certain Medical Conditions – Seniors with Alzheimer’s disease or other conditions with dementia symptoms may experience a loss of appetite. Thyroid disorders, gum disease and even some forms of cancer can also be to blame.

What Can Be Done to Stimulate a Senior’s Appetite?

Since taste buds change with age, consider introducing some new flavors to your loved one’s diet. Making the plate more attractive with colorful veggies and fruit may also help, as can spacing food out on a plate to avoid meshing flavors together. Some other ways to stimulate a senior’s appetite include:

  • Increasing calories while decreasing portion sizes
  • Working with your loved one to create a meal schedule or weekly menu with their input
  • Making eating a social event (which also gives seniors something to focus on besides the food in the front of them)

Changes in appetite can also be caused by depression or a change in the way seniors smell and taste food, sometimes making even once favorite foods seem bland. Regardless of the cause of the loss of appetite, it’s important to keep the lines of communication open and assure your senior loved one that your concern is for their own good.

Interested in learning more about senior nutrition? Reach out to Home Care Assistance of Greenwich and speak with a friendly Care Manager about our caregivers and care options. We proudly provide seniors with flexible and reliable hourly and live-in care in Greenwich, ensuring safety and maximizing comfort at home. Request a complimentary, no-obligation consultation for more information by calling 203-842-8863.