Increasing calories, nutrition and social interaction
Dietitians who specialize in nutrition for elders generally stress nutrient density over portion size. This is one time in our lives where calorie dense food and supplemental drinks are not only okay – for many they are desirable. Easy to eat foods are a good choice. A homemade smoothie with a yogurt base and extra fruit and protein can be a nutritious, calorie dense snack for elders with no chewing required.
Socialization helps, as well. One of the most positive aspects of assisted living facilities is often the communal meals. As people adjust to their new environment, many of them begin to look forward to sharing meals with their new friends.
As caregivers we face significant challenges. When it comes to our elders and their diet, we can experiment with meal size and timing and we can tempt our loved ones with their favorite foods. If the problem is serious, we can ask for advice from our loved one’s doctor and elder nutrition specialists. What we shouldn’t do is shame our elders into eating or push them to eat more than they can comfortably handle.
Stevenson, S. (2013, January 23) Loss of Appetite in Elderly: Causes and How to Cope. A Place for Mom. Retrieved from http://www.aplaceformom.com/blog/01-23-2013-loss-of-appetite-in-elderly/
NBC News (2005, June 13) Appetite loss in elderly not a good sign: Reasons can range from bad dentures to depression, experts say. Retrieved from http://www.nbcnews.com/id/8203257/#.URJoTGdS6So