The Anorexia of Aging: Why Your Loved One Has Lost Their Appetite

elderly is depressed

It’s common for older people to lose appetite in their twilight years. After all, aging bodies require less energy as they become less active. But there may be times when the lack of appetite, sometimes referred to as the “anorexia of aging,” can be worrying for caregivers. Here are other reasons your elderly loved one is avoiding meals, according to health experts at Grosse Pointe:

Depression

This is a problem most older adults experience, as they go through a lot of drastic life changes, from the death of a spouse and retirement to moving out of their family home. When you notice your loved one has been losing interest in the things they’ve enjoyed before and has been neglecting personal care, like taking a bath or drinking medicines, this might signal depression.

Take them to the doctor to know for sure. You may also consider getting senior home health care services in Grosse Pointeso that your loved one may have a constant companion who they can talk to and, at the same time, help them eat nutritious meals.

Medications

Some medications, like antidepressants, can cause a lack of appetite. This can be a problem when your loved one is, in the first place, battling depression. There are new drugs, however, that don’t have such side effects. Consult your doctor about it.

In other cases, medicine makes food unpleasant and causes meat (for instance) to be metallic in taste. Change up your meals, choosing other types of food and paying attention still on their nutrition value. Home health care service providers are experts in this, so it’s best to partner with them in these needs.

Physical Difficulties

For elderly people who live independently, there might come a time when they will experience physical challenges when moving around the house, keeping them from preparing their own meals. They will need the help of caregivers for this. At the same time, you need to increase the safety in their home, like installing grab rails or lifts, to help them move freely.

In other instances, the elderly may be avoiding eating because of poorly-fitted dentures. In this case, take them to their dentist for a re-examination.

Has your loved one lost their appetite lately? Don’t let them spiral into the anorexia of aging. Get to the root of the problem so you can address it appropriately.