An aging home care patient may suddenly lose their appetite. In this scenario, it is important not to panic. Instead, there are several things you can do to help your patient regain their appetite.
Tips to Help Patients That Lose Their Appetite
1. Offer Small Portions of High-Nutrient Foods
It is easy for an aging patient to feel overwhelmed when presented with a large amount of food at once. Or, you can serve multiple small meals or snacks to a patient throughout the day. This gives a patient many opportunities to enjoy delicious foods at different times. It can help this patient maintain plenty of energy during the day, too.
Typically, meats, cheeses, fruits, and vegetables contain lots of nutrients that can help an aging patient stay healthy. You should review a patient’s diet with him or her before introducing any new foods into it. That way, you can help the patient enjoy small meals or snacks that consists of foods to help him or her feel their best.
2. Provide Milkshakes or Smoothies
If an aging patient has trouble chewing foods, it may be tough for him or her to enjoy them. At this point, the patient may deal with the pain any time he or she tries to chew. This can make it virtually impossible for the patient to enjoy eating.
For a patient coping with chewing issues, it may be a good idea to try milkshakes or smoothies. You can work with the patient to decide on drink recipes that contain a great combination of healthy foods. From here, you and your patient can make nutrient-rich beverages.
3. Avoid Foods That Require Utensils
There can be times when an aging patient has problems using utensils. In these instances, the patient may shy away from eating these foods. And in severe instances, an aging patient may refuse to eat these foods altogether.
You can offer an aging patient foods like fish sticks, meatballs, raw veggies, and others that do not require utensils. These foods may help the patient quickly and easily satisfy their hunger pangs.
Comparatively, you can offer adaptive utensils to an aging patient. These utensils can help patients coping with physical or developmental disabilities eat comfortably.
4. Track Your Patient’s Appetite Over Time
Monitor the frequency in which an aging patient loses their appetite. Meanwhile, if you find a patient prefers certain foods over others, track these foods as well.
The more information you have about an aging patient’s appetite, the better equipped you’ll be to assist him or her. With comprehensive data at your disposal, you can help your patient establish and maintain a healthy diet long into the future.
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