Top 7 Reasons Why Elders Can't, Won't Or Don't Eat
By Hal Robertson
Many elders find it more and more difficult to eat, even though they may have always been big eaters earlier in life. One of the reasons for this is that metabolism slows down with age. Elders simply need fewer calories to operate. In many cases, this is the reason that there is a big reduction in their interest when it comes to eating. However, there are often other reasons for elders not wanting to eat.
Top 7 Reasons why your elder can't or won't eat:
1. Mouth sores, gum disease, poorly fitting dentures or dry mouth
Elders produce less saliva, which can make chewing and swallowing difficult tasks. Try having your elder sipping their drink between bites. Mixing food with gravies, broths and sauces can also help.
2. Sense of taste and smell aren't what they used to be
This can take a lot of the enjoyment out of eating. Adding more seasonings can help quite a bit as can sweetening their foods - as long as their doctor approves.
3. Trouble using silverware
Muscle weakness can cause issues for elders when it comes to using a knife. Cutting their food for them before setting the table and only setting it with a fork and spoon can be a big help in these instances.
Appetite loss, coupled with a drop in weight can be a cause of depression and is something that should be treated.
Perhaps they don't want to eat for fear of the associated pain of constipation. Constipation is not an issue to be taken lightly as it can cause mental confusion and temporary memory loss.
6. Worry or distraction
Elders who are worried or distracted or are nervous about something may cause them to either overeat or avoid food altogether.
7. Medication side effects
If your elder has just started taking a new medication, it could be interfering with their appetite.