One of the perks of transitioning into a memory care home in Naples, Fl, is that you have access to 24\7 medical care that can help manage and perhaps resolve any condition you may have, including eating disorders. Among the older population, the most common type of eating disorder is anorexia nervosa which sometimes occurs concurrently with depression. Eating disorders in older adults above 60 years present unique mental, psychological, and physical health risks that are highly important to address. That is why we have provided a guide on the best ways to treat and manage eating disorders.
Warning Signs of Eating Disorders in Older Adults
An eating disorder can be overlooked for years and left untreated without a diagnosis. Thus it is essential to know how to detect and recognize early signs and symptoms of disordered eating behaviors among older people.
Here are some of these signs:
- Hiding food or stirring food around the plate for a long time
- Falling asleep during mealtimes
- Getting urges to use the restroom immediately after meals
- Focusing too much on weight and calorie intake
- Constant dieting or use of diet pills
- Avoiding or skipping mealtimes
- Unexplained rapid weight loss
- Fixation on calorie burning, exercise, or extreme workouts
- A need to partake in physical activity to “make up” for eating.
It can be difficult to detect these signs because many other factors cause weight loss in older people. Those factors include;
- Difficulty breathing
- Cognitive impairment
- Lack of appetite due to medications
- Co-occurring psychiatric presentations
- Chronic illness or medical conditions that can interfere with digestion and appetite.
Treating Eating Disorders
While many treatment methods exist for eating disorders, not all are healthy for older adults. To achieve the best outcomes, one must consider living conditions, financial constraints, other health conditions, and caregiver status before making a treatment plan for older adults with eating disorders. Nonetheless, here are a few treatment plans beneficial for adults with eating disorders.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): Several studies strongly believe that cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the best and most effective treatment methods for eating disorders, especially for adults with binge eating disorders and night eating syndrome.
- Managing Coexisting Conditions: 60% of older adults with eating disorders experience other comorbid mental health conditions such as anxiety disorder and depression. On the other hand, conditions such as dysphagia cause swallowing difficulties which can contribute to weight loss and malnutrition. Furthermore, Dementia can also affect ones eating habits and is a common cause of rapid weight loss in older adults. Thus, addressing other co-existing conditions is an effective method of dealing with an eating disorder
- Interpersonal Psychotherapy: This focuses on the current interpersonal problems that may be causing or contributing to an eating disorder. Interpersonal therapy will help to address and rectify relational problems, which, when solved, can eradicate eating disorder problems.
Treating Your Eating Disorder at Our Retirement Community
Many older adults with memory-related problems and eating disorders often require monitoring and medical care and would benefit from transitioning into a retirement community that offers care and support for older individuals. With us, you can be assured that your physical and mental health is cared for. We have a team of professionals handling duties ranging from medical care to Sensations dining to ensure your nutrition is good as it gets. Kindly contact us today!