ARTICLES / General /A Healthy
Appetite at Any Age /
By Jennifer Bradley, Staff Writer
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.
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.