Is Loss of Appetite in the Elderly a Natural Part of Getting Older?

July 9th, 2015 by John Wilson

Not wanting to eat isn't necessarily a sign of senior health issues.

A loss of appetite isn’t necessarily the sign of a senior health issue.

Have you noticed your aging loved one isn’t eating as much as he or she used to? A decrease in the appetite of individuals who are living in senior assisted facilities may raise a red flag, but it isn’t always a sign of a problem. Many elderly individuals experience a natural slow-down in their diet. However, there are certain signs of senior health issues you should watch for so you can urge your loved one to seek help when needed.

What Are the Common Causes?

Senior living communities in OKC and the surrounding areas are familiar with the common loss of appetite many seniors experience, but it can be a shock to family. Understanding some of the most frequent causes of a low appetite can help you feel better about your loved one’s health. These causes can include:

By itself, a reduced appetite is typically not a cause for concern.

When Is It a Problem?

While many instances of low appetite aren’t a concern, senior health issues can sometimes cause this symptom. For this reason, it’s important to watch your loved one for other signs of a problem. Some of the most common medical causes of a reduction in appetite can include:

If you notice anything else that may be off in your loved one’s life, it could be time to encourage them to see a doctor for help. This will help you catch any problems as early as possible.

Encourage healthy eating at senior living communities.

Senior living communities help encourage healthy eating.

How to Stimulate Their Appetite

Just because your aging loved one doesn’t seem to want to eat doesn’t mean you should leave it alone. Instead, you can take steps to help your loved one enjoy eating and encourage them to take in the right nutrients to help prevent senior health issues. To encourage your aging relative to eat:

Taking these steps can help your loved one eat more often and ensure they are eating healthy meals.

A decrease in appetite is relatively normal as you get older, but it can still be an indication of a more serious health condition. Many senior health issues are accompanied by a reduced appetite. In these situations, it’s important to get your loved one to their doctor as soon as possible. When this loss of appetite isn’t caused by a health problem, though, there are things you can do to help your loved one eat better while in senior assisted living.

If you’re looking for senior living communities in OKC or the surrounding areas, contact us. The Village at Oakwood can help ensure your senior loved one is eating properly for a healthy lifestyle.

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