As a family caregiver, you know how important it is for your senior to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. If they are struggling with loss of appetite, however, they may not eat as much as they need to, or may eat only unhealthy foods. This means they won’t be getting the nutrition they need to keep their body healthy and strong. Identifying why your parent may be struggling with decreased appetite and helping them to cope with this issue effectively can make a major difference in how they feel, and their ability to stay healthy throughout their later years. One issue that can commonly lead to loss of appetite among seniors is depression. An older adult dealing with depression may not experience hunger, or may not have the motivation to prepare meals for themselves. Helping your parent to deal with their depression effectively can increase their appetite and encourage them to eat a healthier diet and preserve their physical well-being during their later years.
Use these tips to help a senior dealing with depression increase their appetite:
- Make sure your interactions with your senior are not only about your care efforts for them. Taking care of them is very important, but you have to remember you are still their child, your interpersonal relationship with them is valuable. Taking the time to spend quality time with your loved one, check in on them in terms of their emotional health, and expressing their value in your life can make a huge difference in their mental and emotional well-being.
- Especially if you aren’t able to be with your parent frequently, utilize phone calls, video chats, instant message conversations, and any other type of interactions you can so they don’t feel isolated and distanced from you. Try to schedule these interactions during a time when your parent may otherwise be eating. For example, give them a call first thing in the morning and talk to them while they prepare and enjoy breakfast. It’s a great way to start the day for both of you, and can give you more confidence that they are eating something healthy to get going in the morning.
- Make eating a more social experience for your parents. Invite them to your home to eat meals with your family, or bring the family over to their house to eat as frequently as possible. Take the time to go over to their house and share meals with them when you can. Eating with others stimulates appetite and also makes it more likely your parent will eat a well-balanced meal rather than reaching for a convenience or pre-packaged option.
- Consider making elder care a part of their daily routine. An elderly home care services provider can not only offer companionship to reduce depression, but can also prepare meals and snacks for your senior that are healthy, balanced, and satisfy their personal tastes.
Elder care can be a valuable addition to your senior’s life when they are struggling with depression. Many elderly adults face depression, anxiety, and other mental and emotional health issues due to loneliness, isolation, and feeling as though they are no longer relevant or involved in the world around them. Having an elderly home care services provider with them can help to ease these feelings. This care provider can help your parent to stay more involved through reliable transportation, encouragement to participate in activities, and even simple companionship. This can boost your parent’s quality of life and help them to enjoy better health in overall well-being as they age in place.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring elder care in Greenville, SC, contact Heart of the Carolinas Home Care at 864-991-3116. Providing Home Care Services in Greenville, Simpsonville, Greer, Anderson, Spartanburg, Mauldin, Seneca, Laurens, Charleston, Columbia and the surrounding areas.
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