Reasons for Seniors’ Changes in Appetite

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Seniors have a natural tendency to experience a decrease in appetite as they age. Because this decrease in appetite can affect a senior’s overall health and wellness, it’s important to identify underlying causes as soon as possible. This way, you can make sure your aging loved one is getting the right amount of vitamins and nutrients on a daily basis. Here are just a few factors that can influence a senior’s appetite. 

Hormonal Causes

When we eat, a hormone called cholecystokinin is released into the bloodstream and makes us feel full and satisfied. As a person ages, his or her levels of cholecystokinin rise and a feeling of satiety is experienced more quickly, resulting in the decreased consumption of food.

A trained caregiver can provide expertise and additional support to encourage your loved one to eat well. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of senior home care. You can rely on Assisting Hands Home Care to provide an individualized care plan to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our caregivers help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits, such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and we offer mentally stimulating activities that can boost cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia.

Oral Issues

Dental problems, such as ill-fitting dentures and periodontal disease, can make eating unpleasant and possibly painful. Make sure your loved one visits the dentist on a regular basis, and help with daily brushing and flossing. If you’re unable to assist, consider hiring a professional caregiver who can help with personal care needs.

Diminishing Senses

Elderly individuals often have a difficult time tasting and smelling food as a natural result of the aging process. This can leave them feeling unsatisfied or turned off by certain foods. To overcome this problem, add additional flavor to foods using spices and herbs.

Metabolism

Levels of exertion tend to be much lower in the older population, and the body’s metabolism adjusts by requiring fewer calories to maintain bodily functions and complete daily activities. When smaller portions of food are required, it’s important the food consumed is nutrient-dense.

Helping seniors get proper nutrition when they don’t want to eat can be exhausting for family caregivers. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Columbus, OH, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Assisting Hands Home Care. Our caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.

Depression

Many seniors experience depression, and one of its side effects is a loss of appetite. Getting appropriate medical care can address many of the symptoms of depression, which can include decreased hunger. Participating in social engagements where food is being served can serve a dual purpose, helping elderly individuals by lifting their spirits and enjoying meals in the company of others.

Medications

Many elderly individuals regularly take medications to treat chronic conditions. Pills and other forms of medication can cause oral changes that make food seem unpalatable. Some medications can also have side effects, such as dry mouth or a metallic taste, that cause a senior to shy away from eating.

From preparing meals to eating nutritious foods, older adults may require assistance with a wide variety of tasks. If you have a senior loved one who needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of home care Columbus families can trust. Our caregivers help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and we offer mentally stimulating activities that can boost cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. If you need professional home care for your loved one, our Care Specialists are just a phone call away. Reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care today.