There is a misconception that a loss of appetite is a normal part of aging. Instead, a loss of appetite is usually a part of an underlying condition. If your notice that your loved one is not eating as much, this doesn't mean that your loved one doesn't still need the nutrients that come from a full meal. Having a smaller appetite is often the result of changes in one's body. Fortunately, there are things that you can do to help your loved one eat more.
Prepare Food With Stronger Ingredients
As your loved one's sense of taste and smell declines, it can become more difficult to enjoy foods that were once enjoyable, reducing the desire for these foods. Try cooking meals that include stronger ingredients such as onion, turmeric, garlic, or red and green peppers.
Choose Food With A Greater Nutrient Density
Give your loved one foods that have a greater nutrient density rather than foods that are simply empty carbs. White bread and pasta are empty carbs, while fruits, vegetables and lean meats contain valuable nutrients.
Determine Whether Medication Affects Appetite
There might be an underlying cause for your loved one's lack of appetite that can be treated. For example, there might be a medication that is interfering with your loved one's desire to eat. An alternative medication or an additional medication could be provided to make food more palatable.
Ask If There Are Difficulties Chewing
Ask your loved one about why he or she doesn't like to eat. You may find out that your loved one has a difficult time chewing because of poor-fitting dentures. Or, it's possible that he or she simply doesn't have strong enough jaw muscles to chew certain foods. If so, consider cooking meals that are easier to chew. Avoid steak, nuts, and tough fruits and vegetables. One way to make healthier foods easier to chew is to incorporate them into a stew or soup.
Hire An At-Home Care Specialist
It is important to verify that dementia isn't interfering with your loved one's ability to shop for food or cook meals. If your loved one cannot prepare proper meals or shop, it may be necessary to hire an at-home care specialist. Your loved one might lack the energy to cook and it may not be safe for your loved one to drive to a grocery store anymore. For more information about how an at-home care aide can help in these situations, go to sites like http://www.devotedguardians.com.