Has your elderly loved one recently started losing weight? Perhaps a family member visited for the first time in a long while and immediately noticed the difference. Or maybe your home care provider has pointed out that her clothes have become too baggy. Weight loss without a reason can always be a concern, especially when caring for an elderly loved one. Even if she hasn’t noticed the weight loss, your first course of action should be to schedule a doctor’s appointment to help you get to the cause of the weight loss.
If there aren’t any serious health conditions causing the weight loss, then it’s time to start looking at some other possibilities that may be causing your loved one to lose weight. Many of the following can be addressed fairly simply, helping your loved one to regain the weight (if needed) and be back on the road to good health quickly.
If your loved one has pain while eating, she might stop eating as much or start to rely on liquids such as soup for the main part of her diet. Mouth pain can come from a variety of sources- badly fitting dentures, a broken tooth, or an abscess. If these seem to be the cause, have your home care provider bring your loved one to her dentist for a check-up. The dentist can determine if there is any dental work that needs to be done to eliminate the pain.
Forgetting to Eat
As some people age, they may begin to forget to eat. It can be caused by cognitive decline where they lose track of time and days, thus forgetting to eat. But it can also be caused by a decrease in appetite, making it easy to skip a meal here or there without even realizing it. If this is the case, setting up a regular schedule for your loved one to enjoy her meals might help. Having her home care provider make smaller meals more often is another way to help make sure she’s getting the calories she needs each day.
If your loved one deals with gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea, constipation, excessive gas, or even heartburn, she may avoid eating to help protect herself from the unpleasant symptoms that come after eating. Treating the condition will help her enjoy her meals without fear of complications afterward.
Loss of Taste
An individual can lose their sense of taste as they age and taste buds die. A loss of taste is also a long-term symptom of COVID-19 or can occur after a head trauma. If your loved one doesn’t seem inclined to eat because food doesn’t taste good, help her find pleasing textures in her food, or ramp up the spices to increase her ability to enjoy her food more and want to eat.
Whether it’s clinical depression or a case of feeling too alone and isolated, your loved one may stop eating because it doesn’t bring her joy anymore. Sharing meals with family or a home care provider may help her enjoy her meals more and eat more when she does sit down at the table.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care in Eastlake, CA, please contact the caring staff at Aaron Home Care. (619) 880-5522
A Trusted Home Care Agency Serving La Jolla, Pacific Beach, Point Loma, San Diego, UTC, La Mesa, Chula Vista, Coronado, Bonita, Eastlake and the surrounding areas.
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