Senior citizens will soon make up a large percentage of citizens in the United States. Research from American Senior Communities found that there will be about 14.1 million people at or above the age of 85 in the United States by the year 2040. With that in mind, many adults are starting to care for their aging parents. With that in mind, you’re likely to encounter challenges while caring for older adults. One of these challenges involves trying to help a senior who isn’t eating. Here are four helpful tips for helping a senior citizen that won’t eat.
- Use Dishware With Colors That Increase Appetite
This tip might sound a little strange. If you’re wanting to increase a senior’s appetite, consider serving food on either red or yellow dishware. Studies show that certain colors are known to increase someone’s appetite. This is why many fast food restaurants use these colors in their logos and eateries. One study found that the color red increases someone’s appetite by about 25%.
- Serve Foods That Are Easy to Eat
As people get older, it sometimes becomes more difficult to complete basic tasks. Considering that, a senior citizen might not be eating because they’re struggling to consume certain foods. You can help solve this problem by making any food you serve easy to eat. This means cutting up foods into small pieces. In turn, a senior won’t have to spend their time trying to cut up their meal.
- Ask a Senior About Their Food Preferences
Throughout life, people often find themselves pressed for time. This might mean you’re preparing meals that are easy, but not what the senior in your life wants to eat. Considering that, it’s a good idea to speak with a senior citizen about their current favorite foods. There’s no denying that many people’s taste change over time. However, you might find that the foods seniors are wanting aren’t what doctors allow. If a senior citizen wants something unhealthy, consider giving them a small portion of that food after they eat a healthy meal.
- Speak With a Medical Professional
Unfortunately, you might find yourself unable to help a senior citizen eat. If this happens, it’s time to make a doctor’s appointment. In turn, you and the senior in your life will have a better understanding of what’s causing appetite problems. These types of problems could be a sign that something more serious is happening to a senior citizen. It could be caused by certain types of medications or several medicines interacting with each other. If you’re unsure of what’s causing a senior to stop eating and nothing solves this problem, you’ll want to see a doctor.
In conclusion, it’s important to learn about ways to help seniors who won’t eat. If you’re looking for an easier way to care for senior citizens in your life, consider an assisted living facility. One study found that about 37% of people above the age of 50 believe they’ll need long term care. However, the reality is that almost 70% of these people will need care on a long term basis. Assisted living facilities provide housing for seniors as well as help with certain tasks. One study found that almost 1 million people throughout the United States live in an assisted living facility, a number expected to double by the year 2030. In certain situations, caring for a senior on your own can place strain on familial relationships. To ensure a senior citizen receives the care they need, consider placing them in an assisted living facility.