As we get older, our nutritional needs change. Older adults need a wide range of vitamins and minerals to keep them healthy, active, and mentally alert. Unfortunately, while their nutritional needs are growing, many older people are also starting to lose their appetite, and meeting both calorific and nutritional needs can be difficult. Common signs that your loved one might be struggling to eat enough, or enough of the right things, are tiredness, irritability, and weight loss. If you are worried, here are some things that you can do to help your older loved ones to continue to meet their nutritional needs.
Consider Their Care Needs
Older people can have hugely different needs. Some people are fit, active, and healthy well into their 80s or 90s. Others can start to struggle much sooner. Big changes, such as the loss of a partner can also have a big impact on quality of life.
If your loved one isn’t eating enough, it could be because they are lonely, depressed, struggling with mobility or memory, or suffering in some other way. Before simply trying to get them to eat more, consider how their needs are being met and see a doctor if you think you need further help.
Many older people who have become isolated find that their appetite grows when they move into one of the fantastic communities for seniors in Houston, where they also have access to food that meets their needs and people to enjoy food with.
Learn More About Their Nutritional Needs
Your loved one’s specific nutritional needs will depend on their lifestyle and level of activity, as well as their health and any long-term conditions they have. You can learn more about nutrition for seniors online but don’t hesitate to speak to a healthcare professional if you’d like more information.
Invite Them Out for Dinner
One of the most effective ways to ensure your loved one is eating well is to eat with them. This will give you a chance to keep an eye on them, and them an opportunity to enjoy eating with family, instead of alone. If possible, having a regular night a week when you eat together will give them something to look forward to.
Enjoy a Variety of Settings and Foods
Food can get boring when you live alone and no longer feel like making an effort. Eating out, with friends and family, and in different settings, like picnics in the park, can restore a love of food.
Spend Time Cooking Together
Cooking together can be a fantastic social activity that gives your loved one a chance to get interested in what they are eating, take more notice of nutrition, and try some new recipes and flavors.
Let Them Teach
Showing your loved one some of your favorite recipes is a great way to encourage an interest in food, but letting them teach you or younger members of your family is a fantastic tool too. They’ll feel valued and appreciated, and it’ll give them a chance to share stories and talk about any worries that they might have, which could be hurting their appetite. Sometimes, older people’s appetites diminish because they are depressed, isolated, or simply not moving enough to feel hungry. If you are worried about anything, speak to them, and explore other ways to improve their quality of life.