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A Healthy Appetite at Any Age

By Jennifer Bradley, Staff Writer

(Page 3 of 4)

The aging process takes its toll on a loved one physically and mentally, which in turn, can lead to mobility issues. Many seniors suffer from a loss of appetite, attributed to nothing more than the inability to access healthy food. Crowded grocery stores, busy streets and overfilled parking lots all can place anxiety in the heart of a loved one. Add less-than-ideal weather to the mix and it’s a scary situation for many elderly people. A simple weekly ride to the grocery store can be a quick fix. If a caregiver can’t be available, ask around a loved one’s neighborhood. Many friends or local retirees are happy to give a ride and serve their neighbors.

Technology has proven to also be a good resource for those unable to shop for themselves. Caregivers can log on, and place grocery orders through online services. This ensures food is consistently being provided for a loved one. Some local grocers may even provide home delivery as another option to look into.
Proper nutrition will benefit both caregiver and the one cared for, with better health. This translates to less doctor appointments, prescription runs, etc. Many elderly people will survive on toast, cereal and other foods that require little preparation. This also puts them at risk for anemia.  Caregivers should prepare now to potentially save time later.

Some Suggestions

Drink lots of water. It’s the suggested course for many health concerns, but dehydration can also have a big effect on appetite. Tell a loved one not to drink too much before a meal, for the reason suggested earlier, but to keep hydrated throughout an entire day’s time. Water is essential to keeping all body systems functioning at their very best.

Try something new.  We all get tired of the “same old” standbys. Imagine at 80, 90 years old, how many meatloaves a person will have eaten? Even a loved one needs change to hold their interest. Help them make a new meal, or better yet, drop off a sample of a new recipe that was hit at home. They’ll appreciate the effort, and the change in routine.

Flavor is not for “foodies” alone. A little garlic or lemon can spice up a chicken breast, as a dash of nutmeg can take basic rice pudding to another level of enjoyment. Restricted diets only add to the challenge, but some simple seasonings can overcome that challenge as well. A loved one may not have much experience cooking with spices other than basic salt and pepper. A caregiver can offer them some mini-cooking classes, providing options for adding flavor while staying within a doctor’s restrictions.


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