Managing a Loss of Appetite in Elderly People

Beef Goulash.

Healthy eating is important throughout a person’s entire life, and even more so as they age. Not only does it contribute to their physical health, but it can help keep their body and mind healthy and improve their quality of life.

Many changes occur across a lifespan as someone grows older, and appetite is one of them. An appetite or someone’s “desire to eat” isn’t fixed and tends to decrease, especially as they reach 60 and beyond. Reasons for a loss of appetite include:

• Decrease in physical activity

• Dehydration

• Lack of routine

• Decrease in sense of smell and taste

• Eating has become difficult or unpleasant

• Changes in the environment, mood, and social interactions

• Chronic or acute diseases

• Medication side effects

It is crucial to understand that a decreased appetite could also be an early warning sign of a greater health problem. That’s why it’s recommended that someone sees a doctor and finds the reason behind their decreased appetite and have it treated.

Loss of appetite is an important issue to address as it can reduce the critical nutrients that a body needs to function in old age. Here are ways to stimulate appetite to ensure that someone is receiving adequate nutrition according to the people at Gourmet Meals:

• Enjoy a meal with family members or loved ones

• Prepare portion-controlled nutritious meals that are bright and colorful, and packed with vitamins and minerals

• Schedule your meal times at the same time throughout the day, every day of the week to make it a routine part of your day

• Consume smaller portions of high protein, high calorie, and nutritious foods or switch to eating several small meals during the day instead of 3 larger ones (especially if you’ve lost weight)

• Keep plenty of healthy and delicious easy-to-eat snacks in the pantry if you prefer to frequently eat small quantities of food rather than full meals

• If chewing is difficult or uncomfortable, try liquid-y foods like milkshakes or smoothies

• To save time, you can cook food in larger batches and store it in smaller individual containers and reheat when it’s time to eat

If meal planning and preparation is a challenge, Gourmet Meals offers a great convenient solution. Their quick and easy, great tasting “gourmet meals” are recognised by health practitioners, dieticians, and nutritionists as a healthy meal option, especially for the elderly. They are snap-frozen to preserve all the nutrients and flavours, naturally without the addition of preservatives, and are delivered straight to the doorstep!

Eating healthy has never been easier! Check out their menu on www.gourmetmeals.com.au to see their favorite portion-controlled dishes that can increase appetite and ensure you’re eating enough during the day.

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