Healthcare tips for senior citizen - Columbia Pacific

How to Prevent Loss of Appetite: Useful Insights for Seniors?

October 5, 2021


Categories : Senior Health Tips


Eating well is important for seniors to lead a healthy and active life. Having a balanced diet helps them maintain a healthy weight and boosts their energy levels. However, many seniors often struggle during mealtimes because of loss of appetite. Many think it is a natural part of ageing. However, loss of appetite when not addressed properly can result in malnutrition which can cause weight and muscle loss.  


Hence, instead of assuming loss of appetite as a normal part of ageing, it is important to understand the reasons behind it and prevent it. 


As one of the leading retirement homes in Chennai, we share with you some useful insights for seniors on loss of appetite: 


Let us first try to understand the reasons why seniors lose appetite. From depression and altering taste buds to medication side effects, there can be many reasons for a senior to not want to eat. 


Common reasons for seniors to experience loss of appetite?


  • Slowing metabolism means seniors need lesser calories. But they still need to get enough important nutrients. 
  • Taste bud changes can make seniors lose interest in food items they once savoured. 
  • Dental problems such as toothache and poor-fitting dentures can make mealtimes painful for seniors. 
  • Trouble chewing or swallowing can make mealtime uncomfortable for seniors. 
  • Side effects from medication can alter the taste buds. 


If you think you are losing interest in food, here are some simple and effective ways to stimulate your appetite and improve your nutrient intake: 


1. Create a routine: 


One of the easiest and most effective ways to increase your appetite is to have meals at the same time every day. Setting a consistent routine trains the body and mind to look forward to a meal. 


2. Have small but frequent meals:


As you age, having a large meal for lunch or dinner can be overwhelming. Instead, tweak your daily routine to have five to six small meals with equal intervals. Your meals should be packed with vitamins, protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates. 


3. Make mealtime a social activity


Eating alone and depression are closely linked. It has been found that people eat more with friends and family than when eating by themselves. To make your mealtime interesting and entertaining, invite your friends and family members. When you dine with friends and family, eating becomes less of a chore and more of a social activity. If you are living alone, try eating with your friends and relatives online. Use video chatting to have virtual dinners to make mealtimes enjoyable. 


4. Keep easy-to-eat snacks handy


Have different types of healthy and nutritious easy-to-eat healthy snacks such as steamed vegetables, boiled eggs, avocado sandwiches, nuts, fruits, and smoothies. 


5. Stay physically active


Often lack of physical activity could be a reason behind your loss of appetite. Low- impact workouts such as walking, running, yoga and swimming can increase your appetite.  

At our retirement homes in Chennai, residents enjoy delicious and nutritious meals daily. The menu is prepared by nutritionists, keeping in mind the nutritional needs of seniors. There are regular review meetings with the F&B team so that our residents can give their suggestions and feedback. The kitchen and food service area are well-designed and hygienic. Our retirement homes have spacious dining halls so that the mealtimes are relaxed and comfortable. To know about our facilities and the monthly cost of the retirement home, call us at +91 8884555554.


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