Is your senior loved one eating enough? They may not be. Malnutrition is something that affects more than half of all seniors. And it’s something that can be difficult for family members to see. Your senior parent may be skipping meals or not eating enough for many reasons.
Some of the most common reasons why seniors don’t eat are because their medications take away their appetites, they have a hard time shopping, or they have cognitive problems that make them not recognize when they are hungry. Your senior parent probably isn’t going to come out and tell you that they’re going hungry or not eating enough. If you determine that your senior is not getting proper nutrition, it’s time to consider in-home care to help rectify that situation. In-home care can help your senior with everything from grocery shopping, meal preparation, companionship during meals, and more.
Here are four signs that may indicate your senior loved one is malnourished:
Clothes Getting Baggy
If your senior loved one’s clothes aren’t fitting right anymore and they seem to be getting very baggy it’s possible that your senior loved one isn’t getting enough to eat. If your senior parent was overweight to begin with this weight loss could seem like a good thing. But, you need to keep an eye on how much weight your senior loved is losing. If the weight loss is very sudden or if they lose a lot of weight they may need to be checked out by a doctor.
No Food In The House
When you go to visit your senior loved one make sure that you are checking in the pantry, cupboards, and refrigerator. Is there food in there? Is there enough food in there? Bring groceries with you and make sure that your senior parent has easy to make staples like instant rice and instant mashed potatoes along with soup and other foods that won’t go bad quickly. It’s also a good idea to make sure that there is plenty of bottled water, nutrition bars, protein drinks, and other essentials tucked into the pantry so that your senior loved one will have plenty of food in the house. In-home care can ensure that your senior’s home is fully stocked with quality foods and do the grocery shopping or accompany them to the store to tackle the task together.
Physical Symptoms Of Hunger
Does your senior parent seem unsteady on their feet? Are their cheeks sunken? How is their balance? Poor balance, a sunken appearance, and other physical symptoms of hunger can mimic the symptoms of other health conditions. But if your senior loved one has those symptoms and there’s no food in the house you should assume they’re not getting enough to eat.
Another common side effect of malnutrition is a change in mental cognition. If your senior loved one seems to be getting agitated frequently or if they have sudden mood changes they could be hungry. One way to see if your senior loved one’s mental fog is hunger related is to make sure they eat something in front of you. If that seems to give them clarity then it’s a safe bet that they are hungry. In-home care providers can help remind your senior loved one that they need to eat healthy foods at regular intervals.