Mealtime can be a trying time for an older person and their caregiver.
The good news is that, most elderly eating problems can be overcome without having to resort to extreme measures. Here's a list of five common mealtime problems and how to fix them:
- ) Anger and agitation-Cognitive decline, whether it is dementia-related, or just a by-product of getting older may cause a senior to become agitated during mealtimes. Maintaining a calm demeanor and explaining that eating properly will keep them healthy may help them relax.
- ) Anxiety and confusion- Anxiety and confusion can be avoided by making the eating process as straightforward as possible. Keep the dining space clean, well-lit and free of clutter.
- ) No appetite-Advanced age and some medications can decrease a senior's appetite or impair their ability to taste food. Consult with an elderly person's doctor if you suspect that their medications are making them less inclined to eat. You can also try enhancing the flavor of foods with things like vinegar, onions, garlic, or olive oil.
- ) Problems chewing-Things like ill-fitting dentures, tooth loss, and mouth sores can make it difficult for a senior to chew their food. Feeding them soft foods can help solve this problem. You can substitute canned fruits and vegetables for fresh produce. Things like eggs and peanut butter can replace harder sources of protein.
- ) Choking-The muscles in an elderly person's esophagus are not as strong as they used to be so it will be harder for them to swallow larger amounts of food without choking. Chopping or shredding their food can help. Also, fruit smoothies made with protein powder will give them important nutrients while reducing the strain on their digestive system.