Caregiver: Your mom’s doctor pointed out that your mom has lost weight.
She’s not eating as much, and her doctor recommends that steps be taken to figure out why. What are the possible reasons for your mom’s lack of appetite or changes to her eating habits? Her caregiver can help you with this.
As you get older, your appetite does change. If the weight loss is minimal, it’s not alarming. Ask the doctor for guidance. Some illnesses can lead to weight loss. Diabetes is one of them. If the doctor hasn’t drawn blood to check for signs of diabetes, that needs to happen next.
Your mom could be depressed. Depression can affect the appetite. If she is suffering from depression, therapy could help bring her hunger back.
Some older adults have a hard time cooking meals. Cooking for one instead of a family is more complicated than expected. Arthritis pain makes it hard to chop ingredients.
If she’s having a hard time cooking meals, it may help her to have a caregiver cook for her. She may find it easier to prepare things if she has ergonomic kitchen tools or a food processor. Ask her if there are things you could do or purchase for her that would help.
Eating alone isn’t a lot of fun. Some older adults hate eating alone, so they snack rather than prepare and eat complete meals by themselves.
Could loneliness be a factor? If your mom is used to her family eating with her, eating by herself is a hard adjustment. Companion care services ensure your mom has a caregiver with her during meals. That may be all that’s needed to encourage her to eat.
Is your mom having issues chewing? If she has dentures or a bridge, is the dental appliance slipping when she tries to chew? It could be causing it to rub on the gums and cause pain that keeps her from eating. Missing teeth and cavities are other issues that can make it harder for her to eat certain foods.
With a trip to the dentist to resolve whatever is bothering her, she can get back to eating the foods she likes. Be sure to ask her if she’s dealing with tooth pain when you discuss her eating habits.
If you suspect your mom isn’t eating due to her changing health, it helps to arrange personal care at home. Have caregivers cook her meals for her and sit with her while she eats. Her caregiver can keep in touch with you after doctor’s appointments or let you know how things are going. Call a home care expert to set up personal care at home visits.