It is not uncommon to see mature adults with no appetite. In fact, it happens more often than not. As we age, numerous changes take place in our bodies. We may be on medications that change smell and taste, we are no longer active so don’t work up an appetite, and more. Eating three meals a day can sometimes feel like an extreme challenge. If a person has to prepare those meals themselves, too, then it’s even more so.
As important as nutrition is when we are young, it becomes even more critical as we age. Without the right nutrients, severe health and mental conditions can arise and worsen. Mature adults must be encouraged to eat if they are not doing it on their own.
If your loved one has poor appetite, consider these tips.
If They’re Hungry – Take Advantage
There is no steadfast rule saying we must eat three times a day at specific times of the day. If your loved one isn’t eating as much as they should, and they get hungry, let them eat! Encourage it, in fact. The fact that they’re hungry means you can get more nutrients and calories in them. Take advantage of the opportunity.
Try Different Temperatures with Different Foods
Food temperature preferences may change as people age. To see what temperatures your loved one likes best, try cold, warm, and/or hot meals.
Try Stronger Flavors
As we age, taste buds may not be as sensitive as they were when we were young. An appetite will not be stimulated by bland food, in this case. Without going overboard, more seasonings or stronger flavors may make food more appealing.
During Meals, Limit Fluids
It’s very important to keep mature adults hydrated, so between meals, make sure they’re getting plenty of fluids. Additionally, to swallow food safely and help moisten food, some liquids are necessary. But mature adults may not eat well if they’re filling up on liquids at mealtime.
Give Them Control and Choice
A loss of independence or an illness may make your loved one feel frail and not in control. They can exercise control, in a way, by refusing to eat. Involve them in meal planning and let them choose between different foods.
Make Meals Pleasant
For as many meals as possible, provide good company and a nice table setting. Play soft music, light some candles, set the table in an aesthetically pleasing manner. Even if you’re not eating with your loved ones, sit with them and chat while they eat.
Consider the Side Effects of Medication
A dry mouth, a change in taste, and a change in the sense of smell can be the result of certain medications.
Try an oral rinse, toothbrushing, or sugarless gum chewing before meals if dry mouth is a problem. Serve dairy, beans, or other protein sources if a metallic or strange taste makes eating unpleasant. Additionally, rather than metal silverware, use plastic.
Add cucumber, lemon, sliced fruit, or mint if the water tastes funny.
Aston Gardens At Pelican Pointe Encourages Mature Adults to Enjoy Eating
Have you lost interest in eating? Are your loved ones or caregivers at a loss as to how to encourage you to eat? Do you find that you are no longer getting the required nutrients you need to stay healthy? If you can answer yes to any of these for a loved one – or yourself – it’s time to look into the beautiful surroundings and dedicated staff at Aston Gardens At Pelican Pointe.
With chef-prepared meals according to health needs and/or restrictions, and so much more, we are focused on properly caring for our residents. We have a stylish dining room setting that offers healthy, delicious meals. Enjoy linen tablecloths, friendly table service, sparkling china, and chef-prepared foods that cater to specific health concerns/restrictions/allergies, and more.
For information regarding our exclusive lifestyle programs, apartment home availability, and living options, fill out our convenient online contact form. If you’d like to take a tour of our community, we also have a convenient tour form you can use to schedule one.