Monday, November 16, 2009


1. Loss of appetite: If the senior was always a hearty eater but isn't now, find out why. Poor nutrition could be the root cause.

2. No interest in eating out: Your loved one always enjoyed eating out at a favourite restaurant, but doesn't anymore.

3. Depression: Change in appetite is a classic sign of depression. Be sure to follow up with a physician if you suspect depression may be a problem.

4. Sudden weight fluctuation: A weight change — losing or gaining 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) in six months — is another sign that something could be amiss.

5. Expired or spoiled food: Check the refrigerator. Seniors could be "saving" food until it's no longer safe. Make sure all food is labelled with a date in large letters and numbers.

6. Skin tone: Observe your senior's skin tone. Skin should be pink and healthy, not pale and grey.

7. Lethargy: If your loved one has always been active and takes walks, but suddenly becomes lethargic, encourage a visit to the doctor. Poor nutrition could be to blame.

8. Cognitive problems: Seniors who live alone might forget to eat. Dementia and cognitive problems can lead to nutrition deficiencies, so intervention is vital.

9. More than three medications: Medication can influence appetite and weight. Check with the doctor.

10. A recent illness: Illness or hospitalization could prompt a senior to quit eating. Keep tabs on your loved one's recovery, making sure they have help at home.



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Richey said...

These are some really good points. It is often difficult for seniors to realize when they need help. Sometimes at this point in their lives, it is necessary to hire a nanny that specializes in elderly care.

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