It’s really frustrating when your elderly family member won’t eat. As her caregiver, you might worry that you’ve done something wrong or that you’re missing something. It’s far more likely that whatever is going on is far outside the realm of anything you can control or change. What you can do is try to troubleshoot as well as possible and be there for your senior.

Continue Ruling out Health Issues

Health issues are the number one reason your senior may be avoiding food, so it’s important to rule them out. If this is an ongoing issue for your senior, you’ve likely already talked to her doctor and started ruling out a variety of concerns. But there’s always something else that could be related, so keep trying. Eventually you may land on the right answer.

Rule out Medication Side Effects, Too

If your elderly family member is taking a lot of medications, there may be combinations of medications that are creating issues, too. Your senior’s doctor may want to adjust medication dosages, the timing of dosages, and even swap medications. This can sometimes resolve the problem, but it can take time, especially if your elderly family member is taking different medications.

Let Your Senior Drive

There’s a part of your elderly family member that may need to feel like she has more control over this. Even if she is already in control of much of what happens in terms of food, she may need more. Never underestimate how important choice is for your senior. Look at even the smallest details and if your senior can make that decision, let her do it.

Strike When the Iron Is Hot

When your senior is hungry, it’s all hands on deck. Even if what she’s eating isn’t what you wish she would eat more of, give her a second helping if she’s asking for it. People who are not eating enough usually aren’t getting enough calories and while you don’t want her eating a lot of empty calories, you don’t want her body shutting down because it’s getting nothing. Take advantage of any moment that she’s willing to eat and capitalize on it.

Your senior’s doctor can help you to figure out alternatives if she is still unable or unwilling to eat true meals. Meal replacement shakes aren’t ideal, but they may be the best option if she’s not willing to try anything else.

If you or an aging loved one is considering senior care in Cape Elizabeth, ME, please contact the caring staff at CareTree Healthcare today. Call today! 207-899-0774.