Cutting back even a little bit on what your senior is eating can have a dramatic impact on her well-being. It doesn’t take long for someone to become malnourished from not eating enough healthy foods, and that can cause your elderly family member’s health to suffer greatly. Finding the cause can help you to put the right answers in place for your senior.
Check for Problems with Her Mouth, Teeth, and Gums
Whether your senior has dentures or her own teeth, problems with her mouth, gums, and teeth can affect her appetite significantly. Ask your aging family member if she’s feeling any pain and help her to take a closer look at what’s going on. If she hasn’t been to the dentist recently, it’s time to schedule a visit and get some more answers.
Try Using Adaptive Tools
Eating could be difficult for your senior, which can make her avoid it. Problems with utensils that are difficult to grasp are just one issue your elderly family member could be facing. There are plates with silicone dividers that can help her to scoop food onto her fork as well as utensils with larger handles which are easier to grasp. Try using a variety of these tools and see if they make a difference for her.
Switch to Finger Foods
If even adaptive tools aren’t working well, your elderly family member might prefer finger foods. These are often a lot easier for her to eat on her own, which can be really important for her self-esteem. Talk to your elderly family member about what types of foods she’s interested in trying. There are healthy finger food options that don’t rely on processed foods, and those are definitely the better choice.
Talk to Her Doctor about What You’re Noticing
Even trying a few different solutions may not increase your senior’s appetite like you’d like. There may be underlying health issues that are factoring into the situation. Side effects from medications can also affect your elderly family member’s appetite and ability to eat. Talk with your senior’s doctor about what’s happening because there may be a cause that is fixable.
It’s also possible that your elderly family member simply doesn’t have the energy to keep up with making meals, cleaning up afterward, and everything else associated with eating. Bringing in home care services providers to help can alleviate a lot of those problems for your senior.