Loss of appetite and lack of interest in food and other things are very common as people age and many caretakers find themselves wondering how to increase appetite in the elderly.
While changes in appetite and mood may not necessarily be an indication that something is wrong, it is still very important for the elderly to eat highly nutritious food so they can stay healthy and energetic.
Though it can be hard sometimes to notice changes in appetite when someone is an adult; it’s very crucial to keep a close eye on the elderly because their behavior changes very discreetly.
Simple things like not eating all the food served, weight loss, skipping lunch and looking weak are all signs of poor appetite in the elderly.
So, why do old people stop eating?
What Causes Loss Of Appetite In Elderly?
Before we look at how to increase appetite in the elderly, lets first discuss exactly what causes the loss of appetite old age in the first place so the problem can be solved from the source;
- Low Metabolism and Lack of Physical Activities.
As people age, their bodies become more resistant to physical activities and they live a pretty sedentary life physically and mentally.
This lack of activity lowers the metabolic rate in the body and also means they don’t require as many calories so you don’t feel hungry.
Losing a lot of teeth, uncomfortable dental issues and dentures all contribute to loss of appetite in elderly because the person does not feel comfortable chewing.
- Gastrointestinal Changes.
Changes in the stomach and digestive system can cause lactose intolerance making you feel full and nauseated most of the time.
- Changes in Smell and Taste.
The fact that the elderly lose some senses like taste and smell make eating food uninteresting because it’s not enjoyable any more.
Seniors go through phases of loneliness and depression that can also lead to elderly lack of appetite if they have no friends to talk to or kids to play with at home.
- Medical Illnesses including Alzheimer’s, thyroid disorders, cancer, diabetes and other conditions can cause loss of appetite in old age.
10 Tips on How to Increase Appetite in the Elderly.
Assuming there is nothing medically wrong causing the loss of appetite, here are some steps that you can take to help the elderly not eating get back their appetite;
- Improve Their Social Life
Depression and loneliness are among the leading causes of appetite loss in seniors.
The only way to curb that is by getting them a social life by planning social meals with friends and relatives, getting them in clubs, joining a senior center and basically introducing them to other people they can hang out with.
However, being with the immediate family is the most important thing so make a point to have meals together often and bring the grandkids around a lot.
- Create A Meal Schedule
Since they don’t feel hungry often, sometimes seniors just forget to eat. Create a good eating schedule for them and if necessary have a reminder for them so they won’t forget to eat at least three times a day.
If they eat at the same time every single day for a while, the body will adapt to the schedule and the reminder won’t be necessary anymore.
Just like children, seniors won’t eat foods that they don’t like or enjoy and they can even throw a tantrum.
Going shopping together is one of the best tricks to stimulate appetite in the elderly so they can pick what they like to eat and also enjoy a good time together.
This will also make the elderly parent not eating feel involved in their own life because most seniors feel like people are dictating everything in their lives.
- Work With A Doctor And Nutritionist
As much as you can try to help your elderly parent with appetite issues, only experts in the field know how to get an elderly person to eat.
A nutritionist will use natural ways to increase appetite in elderly such as recommending nutritious foods that taste and smell great and also stimulate the person’s appetite.
Doctors also look at the mouth, throat and other health issues before advising you on how to increase appetite in elderly and prescribe appetite stimulants for elderly and other supplements that can help improve appetite.
Dehydration is one of the causes of appetite loss and it goes unnoticed often. Make sure the elderly person drinks liquids especially fresh juices to stay hydrated and also enhance the immune system and digestion.
A huge plate of food can be overwhelming for anyone especially seniors. Instead of three large meals in a day, you can serve five smaller meals or have nutritious snacks around that they can munch on the whole day.
- Serve Liquid Foods
If the elderly person is having issues chewing or they suffer from Alzheimer’s, you can make liquid foods like milkshakes, fruit juice, smoothies, soups and yoghurt.
Even if exercising is the last thing they want, seniors still need to work out their bodies to keep fit and healthy.
Try to incorporate simple exercises like walking, and chair exercise and make sure you join them for motivation.
After exercise, the body will have lost some calories and the metabolic rate will be higher leading to better appetite.
- Try Different Cuisines
Since there are a limited number of foods that elderly people can eat due to health issues, their meal plans usually involve a list of only two or three meals and that can be boring and routine.
Try to change up with something new every day as long as it’s not against their diet and invite them to cook with you and decorate their plates.
- Use Herbs And Spices.
Instead of using store-bought spices, go for natural herbs like fennel, peppermint and ginger to spice up the food and also increase appetite.
Not only do these herbs make the food smell and taste nice but they also curb digestion issues, nausea and reduce bloating.
3 Suggested Appetite Stimulant For Elderly
1. VH Nutrition | HungrEZ | Appetite Stimulant for Men and Women
HungrEZ is a Natural Appetite Stimulant For Elderly formulated to help men and women gain weight through natural means.
The stimulant works by increasing the hunger hormones, increasing salivation and improving digestion so you get hungry more and require more calories.
- It’s made of turmeric, alfalfa, ginger, lemon, gentian and fennell extracts
- It’s a 30 days dosage and you should take two pills before breakfast and dinner
- Works by making you feel hungry more often
- The product is 100% natural
- It stimulates appetite, digestion and helps you to gain weight
- It helps you to gain fat in your legs, arms and buttocks
- Most young people say the pills did not make them hungry at all and they are pretty costly.
2. Eatmor Appetite Stimulant For Elderly Men and Women.
Like the name suggests Eatmor Appetite Stimulant For Adults is formulated to make you eat more by increasing your appetite.
The stimulant is formulated with natural bitter herbs and other ingredients to promote weight gain, appetite and increased energy.
You don’t have to use unorthodox appetite stimulant drugs over the counter to gain weight as this Eatmor stimulant works wonders in no time.
It gives you the appetite and cravings to eat more of the right foods that enhance weight gain.
- It’s an enlargement agent meant to boost your muscles to grow more
- The pack has 120 pills meant to be taken for 30 days
- It’s made of very bitter herbs
- The pills should be taken on an empty stomach
- Eatmor directs calories in the muscles that are mostly used so you gain weight in the right places
- The pills are all natural and not harmful
- The stimulant only creates positive and healthy weight gain
- Works for both men and women
- It works really fast
- One customer says the stimulant made them dizzy and woozy.
3. Biovy HUNGER UP™ -Appetite Stimulant For Aldults.
Biovy HUNGER UP™ is a very effective appetite stimulant whose main ingredient is fenugreek, a herb that has been used for centuries to induce hunger and increase appetite.
Together with other natural ingredients like Pelargonium Sidoides or African geranium, your elderly can gain weight the natural way and enjoy eating again.
- It’s made of scientifically proven ingredients that actually work
- The manufacturing follows strict fda and gmp guidelines for safety
- The pack contains 120 pills for 30 days
- It stimulates appetite and weight gain
- It is safe and effective
- There are no hidden ingredients
- It works pretty fast
- A few young people claim Biovy HUNGER UP™ -Appetite Stimulant doesn’t work on them but it does on the elderly.
Even with all the above tips on how to increase appetite in the elderly, the most important thing is to talk to them often and spend a lot of time together despite your busy schedule.
It’s only through time together and talking that you can ask them what the issue is so you can help them without guessing aimlessly.