John Morley’s 1998 study found that it’s typical for a senior citizen’s appetite to decline. As many as 30 percent of seniors experience declining appetite. If your dad’s appetite has declined, the first thing to do is schedule an appointment with his doctor. Make sure that there isn’t an underlying health issue behind his lack of appetite.
Once you’ve ruled out anything like cancer, diabetes, or digestive issues, work on getting your dad to eat more. You don’t want his lack of appetite to affect his nutritional intake. These tips may help change his eating habits and ensure he doesn’t suffer from malnutrition.
Serve Snacks Instead of Meals
A full meal may be too much for your dad. Instead of having an entire meal, serve him snacks every hour or two. Mix the snacks up so that they’re meeting his needs. When he first gets up, give him a small plate with fresh fruits to snack on. If he wants, serve them with dark chocolate or yogurt dipping sauce. Wait a couple of hours and serve him some overnight oats that are loaded with nuts and berries.
Around lunchtime, offer something like chicken salad on toast points. Wait a couple of hours and give him another snack. At dinnertime, start with a salad or bowl of soup. Later, serve some baked chicken fingers and Japanese vegetable pancakes drizzled with sesame oil.
Make Sure Meals Are Appealing
Taste buds and the sense of smell change as you get older. Foods your dad once loved may not be as pleasing. Experiment with new flavors. If he used to love tomatoes but stopped enjoying them, don’t serve his pasta with tomato sauce. Try tossing noodles in pesto or a sauce made by pureeing roasted vegetables.
Try getting him to enjoy a smoothie each day. Use frozen berries and naturally-sweetened cranberry juice and blend them into a smoothie that will help hydrate him and boost antioxidants without being overly filling.
Dine as a Family
Some seniors move away from eating a lot because they don’t like eating alone. If that is a problem with your dad, make sure someone is there to eat with him. Schedule regular family meals together. On days people cannot come, you can have caregivers eat with him.
Senior care services do more than clean the home and help with laundry. Caregivers can drive your dad to stores, cook his meals, and dine with him. He gains companionship when you hire senior care.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Home Health Care in Ardmore, PA, please contact the friendly staff at Suma Home Care.
Call today: (484) 206-4544
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