Prevention

Elders’ Loss of Appetite Complicated

Carol Bradley Bursack Health Guide February 09, 2013
  • Adult children often worry about their aging parents’ eating habits. Sometimes the elders live alone and don’t feel like cooking or even going out to buy groceries. They may have pain issues that keep them from enjoying food, or dentures that make chewing uncomfortable. Depression can be ...

3 Comments
  • Leah
    Health Guide
    Feb. 09, 2013

    You are so right, Carol, about not shaming our elders into eating.  I feel very strongly about allowing our elders to live with dignity--and along with that comes the right to choose whether one eats or not, what one eats or not, when one eats or not, where one eats or not, how one eats or not...you get the picture.

     

    Having a meal with your elder...

    RHMLucky777

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    You are so right, Carol, about not shaming our elders into eating.  I feel very strongly about allowing our elders to live with dignity--and along with that comes the right to choose whether one eats or not, what one eats or not, when one eats or not, where one eats or not, how one eats or not...you get the picture.

     

    Having a meal with your elder will often be all is needed to encourage an appetite.  Possibly an adult day care center will be an alternative...and, even then, going to the center yourself from time to time to eat with your elderly loved one ia desirable.

     

    I believe that once we achieve old age, and have put so many years behind us, we should have the right to decide HOW we live==IF we have our right mind.  However, you are really referring to those who have a greater degree of dementia, who CANNOT make their own decisions...THEN, yes, we must go to whatever lengths we can to encourage our loved ones to eat well. 

     

    Thanks for the great blog!

    God  bless you!!  Leah

    • Carol Bradley Bursack
      Health Guide
      Feb. 10, 2013

      Thanks for your kind words, Leah. I believe the key here, even with dementia, is "encourage." There's a vast difference between encouraging someone with tasty foods and gentle loving words, and an angry approach that is blaming and shaming. Sometimes - which was my mom's case - a person just can't eat. Period.

       

      The reasons for loss of appetite are unique...

      RHMLucky777

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      Thanks for your kind words, Leah. I believe the key here, even with dementia, is "encourage." There's a vast difference between encouraging someone with tasty foods and gentle loving words, and an angry approach that is blaming and shaming. Sometimes - which was my mom's case - a person just can't eat. Period.

       

      The reasons for loss of appetite are unique to the individual, but the decision about what and whether to eat should be the elder's. Even with dementia, finding something that the person can enjoy such as tasty fortified smoothies or other light meals works far better than forcing food they hate. Dignity is essential and my heart rips apart when I see what is sometimes all an elder has left - his or her dignity - stripped away.

       

      Blessings, my friend,

      Carol

       

  • NC
    NC
    Feb. 11, 2013

    Carol,

     

    I also want to add that my late FIL had problem taking aricept and he got loss of appetite. So sometimes it is the drug's side effect. Check with the doctor first.

    Once the drug was taken off, my late FIL was OK. He took namenda and exelon instead.

     

    Regards,

    Nina

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