To a certain extent, it’s quite normal for your appetite to change as you age. However, there are also outside factors that might lead you to not want to eat. Sometimes, loss of appetite results from taking a particular type of medication or having a medical condition. Other times, it stems from not having the energy to cook, and in some cases, it may even be that food has lost some of its flavour due to changes in your taste buds. But regardless of the reason for the loss of appetite, it’s important that you continue to meet your daily caloric needs. Here’s what you should know about how your nutritional needs change as you age.
Depending on the reason for your appetite loss, there are a number of solutions you can try. For example, rather than focusing on eating large portions, zero in on choosing nutrient-rich foods recommended by your dietitian. And if you’re experiencing dry mouth, you can chew sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva production.
Sometimes, people don’t even realize that they feel unmotivated to eat due to not wanting to dine alone. Team up with a dinner partner to talk to while you eat. In our retirement communities, we encourage residents to enjoy a meal in our elegant dining rooms and to socialize with others.
Even though some degree of appetite loss is normal, seniors should be very cautious about their diets. Malnutrition and dehydration remain a risk for many seniors. Dietitians Canada recommends that all seniors in retirement living homes in Canada have a nutrition care plan that is overseen by a dietitian and Retirement Concepts is no different—you can learn more about our Team Care Approach here. This way, even though you may be eating less, you can still be confident that you’re getting the nutrients and calories you need. A dietitian will work with you to have a look at your diet, your health and your medications to determine which diet suits your individual needs.
Seniors should also ensure that they drink plenty of liquids. If your doctor is worried that you might not be getting enough, try drinking a full glass at each meal, as well as an additional glass between meals. The drink doesn’t have to be water. It can also be coffee, tea, herbal tea, milk or juice. Even soup counts!
At Retirement Concepts, we have a dedicated team of support staff, including dietitians, to help seniors in our retirement communities meet their optimal nutritional requirements. Each of our residents has access to nutritional services and there are always multiple food options available. If senior nutrition is one of your concerns, contact us for more information about our programs today!