You may wonder if your retirement age loved one is eating enough. Perhaps they look a little thinner than usual or possibly even malnourished. Are they getting the right nutrition? Are they eating the right-sized portions? Are there good ways to improve appetite for senior parents, grandparents, etc.?
As people age, their appetites can shift. Sensory changes, medication side effects, and slower metabolism can decrease the appetite of someone who used to eat heartily. While aging and loss of appetite can go hand in hand, they can also lead to nutritional deficiencies and unnecessary (possibly unhealthy) weight loss.
Are you concerned about your loved one’s loss of appetite? To make sure they maintain a healthy diet, let’s go over a few ways to increase appetite.
Appetite and Exercise
A lack of exercise can lead to a person feeling less hungry. A person who regularly exercises for a portion of their day may well discover that they’re hungrier when mealtime rolls around. Keep in mind, however, that an appetite can be decreased by strenuous, fast-paced workouts.
Social Gatherings at Mealtime
Creating a social event around a meal is a great way to get more people to partake in whatever is being served. Additionally, the more attractive you make the setting in which a person will consume their meals, the better.
Drinking a Meal
If an adult has difficulty chewing or has a lack of appetite, they may avoid eating. Soup, whole fat milk, and smoothies are easy to consume, yet offer nutritional value. “Ensure” and other bottled nutritional drinks could also offer easy and healthy meal options.
Fiber won’t help appetite or caloric intake, though high-fiber diets are common in many older adults. They can, in fact, with less consumption, help you feel full. Go for a moderate intake of fiber, rather than eating foods that are high in fiber.
You’ve heard it before: The most important meal of the day is breakfast. The thing is, it’s true. If your loved one wants to skip lunch, far better they have a significant, highly nutritious, and delicious breakfast to take them through their day.
When do most people eat? Answer: When they are hungry. So, it only stands to reason that, if older adults aren’t hungry as often, they may not eat as often as they used to. By using meals as a reminder to “feel” hungry, scheduling becomes important. It also helps establish a routine, something many older adults prefer.
Make the Most of the Meal
Making sure the calories and nutrients needed by your loved one are in abundance in the meals they eat will help make the most of each serving. Even if they don’t eat three meals or more a day, they might still get everything they need if the meals are highly nutritious.
At Spring Mill Senior Living Community, Meals Are Nutritious and Delicious
Your retirement-age mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, etc. will enjoy senior living at its finest thanks, in part, to our Sensations Dining program at Spring Mill. What kind of program is that, you ask? Check this out:
- Three times a day, meals are freshly prepared, nutritious, and delicious.
- Whenever possible, locally sourced ingredients are used.
- All meals are prepared by our expert chefs.
- The atmosphere in which your loved one will be served rivals that of some of the finest restaurants in PA.
- Dietary restrictions are never a problem.
- Menu items vary, sometimes with themed cuisines.
If your loved one isn’t getting the right kind of nutrition, or eating the right portions every day, it may be time for them to thrive in an environment where meal preparation is no longer a hassle. Contact us today at 610.933.7675 to find out more.