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Elders often begin to lose their appetite as they age and it’s extremely worrying.
If there are no medicinal, and health causes behind it, then you can use the following ways to develop their appetite:
• Encourage Physical Activities
Exercising burns off energy and naturally stimulates hunger. Help the elderly develop a habit of walking, or establish a very simple workout routine to stimulate their appetite.
• Focus on Quality and not Quantity
Most caregivers try to increase the portion size of food for the elderly. As a result, the elderly get intimidated by such a large quantity and withdraw from eating more so than before.
A better way is to increase the density of the nutrients in the food. You can, for instance, remove that bread from the breakfast, and replace it with an avocado instead. Or you can give them just a bowl of oatmeal packed with nutrients with the help of nuts and fruits
Olive oil and peanut butter are also some great ways to bring more nutrients to the meal.
• Always keep Easy-to-eat snacks on hand
Few of us can resist the temptation to munch when there are mouthwatering snacks within reach. The elderly are no exception. If the seniors in your care aren’t consuming full meals, then that’s okay. As long as they are eating healthy snacks between meals, there’s nothing to worry about.
Now the task of preparing snacks is a tricky one. You have to find out what the elder’s like specifically. You can also try new things to catch their interest. As long as the elders do not have any health issues, don’t concern yourself excessively about calories and fat. The real issue here is to make sure they are getting enough calories for the day.
• Stick to Scheduled mealtime
Sometimes, in our effort to feed our loved ones as much as they’ll take, we give them meals too close together. This often doesn’t give them a chance to get hungry. The same goes for snacks; going overboard with them will make them lose their appetite when it is really time for their next meal.
Observe the eating habits of the elders carefully and develop a schedule around it–and stick to it!
• Ditch Utensils and Food that requires Them
When the elders are not able to use a spoon, fork, and a knife, it often kills their appetite and makes them not want to eat.
Stick to food that can be picked up and eaten easily.
If you think you cannot keep up with the elders’ changing appetite, you can get help and support from a home care expert.