The three pillars of wholesome living and overall well-being are…Food, Sleep, and a well regulated lifestyle. While this is easy and so natural at a period in one’s life, it is a serious challenge among the aged.
By natural causation an elderly person is the victim of a moderated diet depending on his/her physical condition, a slowed metabolism, poor digestion. Constipation or otherwise. Inability to chew or having dentures, etc.
Sleep declines due to lack of activity. And sleep is a natural aid to augment appetite. Sleep helps body to recover on its own. Sufficient amount of rest keeps the juices flowing properly within.
The lifestyle is hampered, stifled, and curtailed by old age ailments. Doctors prescriptions make for poor taste in the mouth or appetite taking a back seat. A number of emotional factors also contribute to a unhappy lifestyle leading to lack of appetite.
The definition of appetite is the desire to eat food.
“I don’t feel like eating.”
“Again the same food”
Are the common complaints made often by the Elderly .
Let us try and address some of them.
What can we do to regain appetite among the aged people?
Here are 5 simple methods to deal with decrease in appetite.
• Create a routine.
Eating at regular times helps programme our palette.
First thing in the morning, followed by light exercise to get the stomach growling a bit, like a walk or light yoga. A bath followed by a happy breakfast hour. The menu can be altered to make eating something to look forward to. In fact this should be the best meal of the day. Fresh fruits, carbohydrates and diary.
Lunch should include food with the colour, whites, yellows and greens. Once again a staple diet with lentils and green vegetables cooked lightly. Yoghurt is a probiotic which helps with stomach bugs.
An afternoon siesta is always welcome.
A freshly brewed cup of tea with biscuits is indeed rejuvenating. An evening walk can help work up an appetite.
Dinner needs to be light, soup, or toast and lightly salted vegetables or a broth.
A glass of milk before bedtime, if permitted, would complete the routine.
Animal protein/soya added as per preferences.
• Meal time ideally should be happy times, if one could share it with family and friends it would be fun. If eating alone is the only option then it’s necessary that the food given should be tasty. If chewing is a problem then soups, smoothies and broth offer a healthy full-filling option.
• Finger foods or semi liquid foods and small frequent meals make eating attractive.
Finger foods can be eaten easily without fuss. Small frequent meals help when one cannot eat too much at a sitting. This helps in digestion and removes the overstuffed feeling which can be quite suffocating and uncomfortable for the aged.
• Water intake. It is essential to drink enough water, ideally about eight glasses to remain hydrated through the day. However sometimes the elderly might be given a restricted water intake schedule. There are also other choices of beverages that can be had. Water, according to Mayo Clinic is the principal component of bodily function.
•Cheat days… One must always allow for variety or eating what one wants. Food that is eaten is more to ones taste and makes other days more tolerable. Eats food must be interrupted with. ‘the cheat’ days. Then there is something to look forward to. Food that is eaten is more to ones taste and makes other days more tolerable. Spicy, tangy, hot or a cold takes your pick and smile on the days when you cheat. Make for joy in living!!!The appetite under the elderly will definitely improve for the day at least!!!
Finally, it is most important to add nutrients rather than calories, so the menu planner must keep that in mind. The presentation of the food served must be inviting.The last point is that serving the food with affection and care makes the meal-times a joy.