Unless you’ve cared for a senior with Alzheimer’s in the past, you probably don’t know how common it is for seniors with memory loss to lose weight. It can be worrisome when you suddenly notice your senior loved one’s pants hanging low, but the senior care experts at Home Care Assistance of Omaha have a few tips to help get food in your loved one’s belly.
Common Reasons for Weight Loss
Apathy – When eating is no longer enjoyable, apathy can ensue and cause decreased appetite. This can also occur when the same foods are offered repeatedly, without variety.
Memory Loss – Seniors with memory loss may simply forget they need to eat and drink throughout the day.
Dental Problems – Tooth loss or poor-fitting dentures can make chewing difficult.
How to Get Seniors to Eat
Use color – Orange lends itself to warmth and comfort and increases the flow of oxygen to the brain. Green promotes healthy eating, balance, and relaxation. On the other hand, pink doesn’t stimulate appetite, nor does white or brown.
Try New Foods – Making new recipes or offering new foods creates variety and can increase interest in eating.
Encourage Snacking– Some seniors have a hard time eating a full meal. Offer your senior loved one snacks 5-6 times a day as a substitute for 3 meals a day.
Flavor with Seasonings – Bay leaf improves insulin function and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, cardamom improves digestion, and ingesting rosemary has been scientifically shown to improve memory.
Encourage Exercise – Exercise stimulates appetite. Try taking regular walks in the morning, swimming, or dancing.
Stick to a Routine – Scheduling meals at the same time each day helps the body recognize mealtime and can increase appetite as mealtime approaches.
Aside from cognitive issues, seniors often eat less because they are no longer able to go grocery shopping or cook healthy meals. You can shelve some of your concern by securing in-home Alzheimer’s care in Omaha. Home Care Assistance caregivers are expertly trained in caring for seniors with memory loss, can assist with grocery shopping, cooking, and light housework, and promote your loved one’s safety and wellbeing. Find an Alzheimer’s caregiver near you by calling (402) 763-9140 to speak with a qualified Care Manager.