Tips for Helping Older Adults Eat

If you’re having trouble getting your aging relative to eat, you’re not alone. Many family caregivers struggle with mealtimes and convincing seniors to consume enough food. There are all kinds of reasons older adults don’t want to eat, including medical problems or just feeling lonely when they have to eat alone. If you’re having trouble getting your family member to eat, below are some tips to help.

Home Care in Kentwood MI: Tips for Helping Older Adults Eat

Home Care in Kentwood MI: Tips for Helping Older Adults Eat

Rule Out Medical Problems.

The first step is to make sure the older adult isn’t suffering from a medical condition that causes loss of appetite. Schedule an appointment with the doctor to talk about the senior’s lack of appetite. When you go to the appointment, take a list of their medications with you. Some medications can have appetite loss as a side effect.

Follow a Daily Routine.

Offer your aging relative meals and snacks at the same time each day. This can help signal their body when it is time to eat. Don’t wait for them to tell you they are hungry. The body’s ability to feel hunger reduces with age.

Make Every Bite Count.

When older adults don’t eat a lot, it’s important to make what they eat count. Choose nutritionally rich foods. Avoid junk foods that are high in calories, but don’t have much to offer in the way of vitamins and minerals.

Make Foods Easier to Eat.

Some medical conditions can make it hard to eat. The older adult’s hands might shake, or cognitive problems might make using a utensil confusing. Try making foods that the senior can eat with their hands, such as sandwiches, cut up fruit, and slices of cheese.

Keep Prepared Snacks on Hand.

Having healthy snacks on hand that the older adult can grab and eat easily will make it more likely that they will choose foods that are good for them when they do feel like eating. Keep cut up vegetables and dips in the refrigerator. Put fresh fruit out on the counter where they will see it and grab a piece when they are hungry.

Offer Several Small Meals.

Instead of making three big meals each day, try offering several small meals throughout the day. The senior might not be able to eat a lot of food at one time. However, spreading out the same amount of food over several smaller meals could help them to eat more.

Ask Home Care to Help.

Home care providers can help your aging relative to get enough nutrition. A home care provider can prepare healthy meals that contain all the vitamins and minerals your aging relative needs. Home care providers can also wash and cut vegetables and fruits, so they are available and easy to eat.

If you or someone you know needs help with home care in Kentwood, MI, contact Gauthier Family Home Care. We provide quality and affordable home care services in our community. Call us at (616) 258-2300 for more information.



About Dan Gauthier

Dan Gauthier has a long and successful business pedigree. He spent his college years working in the restaurant business and worked in various executive management positions at Universal Forest Products, Inc. over a span of 17 years, and Therm Technology / Family Safety Products for 12 years.

When the recession hit in 2008 Dan was “downsized” from UFP and spent a few years consulting for local companies Amway and Cascade Engineering. During this period Dan’s in-laws were experiencing catastrophic health problems and it required Dan’s wife Marion to focus full time on caregiving for her mother. Marion enlisted help from a local home care agency and it did not go well. This experience led to the creation of Gauthier Family Home Care, a home care agency that is uniquely holistic and family centric. Dan now works full time running GFHC.