Managing Senior Appetite Changes

To learn more about our non-profit continuing care community on Skidaway Island, GA, please call us today at 800-889-6238 or request a brochure.

As the body ages, it undergoes a wide range of natural changes, some more severe than others. A gradual loss of appetite is one such change that can be expected, but while it might not seem so severe; it definitely needs to be monitored closely. The reason is because appetite changes can result in a senior not getting enough nutrients and this can be an instigating factor in the development of a rash of health-related problems.

Why Appetite Loss is So Common in the Elderly

Seniors can experience a loss of appetite for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, it can be a side effect of a new medication. In other cases, appetite loss can be caused by something a little more serious, including:

  • Depression or loneliness
  • Pain-induced nausea
  • Lack of energy to cook
  • Changing taste buds
  • Certain health conditions

Which Health Problems Can Affect the Appetite?

In serious cases, a health problem could be responsible for a senior's sudden loss of appetite. For instance, it is not uncommon for taste or appetite changes to occur with illnesses such as thyroid disorders, salivary gland dysfunction, periodontal disease, mouth and throat infections, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease. Cancer in the head and/or neck can also cause a loss of appetite or dramatic changes in taste.

If the loss of appetite is accompanied by an unexpected loss of weight or a general malaise, then a physician should be seen as soon as possible.

Tips for Improving a Senior's Appetite

If you or your loved one hasn't had much of an appetite and their physician has ruled out any evidence of illness, then there are some things you can do to help improve their appetite naturally. These include:

  • Preparing and eating dishes with a higher nutritional content
  • Building a routine around eating times throughout the day
  • Eating meals with friends, family, and neighbors
  • Take care of any side effects caused by medications (such as making a dish containing beans or dairy for protein if the medicine makes meat taste "off")

At The Marshes, Dietary Needs are Always Met

The Marshes of Skidaway Island's life plan community in Savannah, Georgia is dedicated to providing our members with the highest quality diet possible. Our on-campus dining rooms feature nutrient-dense dishes designed using only the freshest, in-season ingredients to help our members live as healthy as possible. Just one taste is all it takes to discover the bounty of culinary creativity available every day to our members.

Schedule a visit to The Marshes of Skidaway Island by calling 800-889-6238 today. Come visit our resort-like life plan community, meet with our staff and members, and sample the delicious, healthy dishes in our community dining rooms. You're going to see The Marshes is so much more than a retirement community.