10 Warning Signs When Older Adults Are Not Eating Properly
March 28, 2011
So how do you know if your diet fits the bill?
These 10 warning signs are red flags that may signal a potential problem:
#1 Loss of appetite: If you have always been a hearty eater but no longer eat what you used to, it’s time to find out why.
Underlying illness could be the root cause.
#2 Little to no interest in eating out: If you loved eating out at a favorite restaurant but that no longer appeals, dig deeper to determine the problem
#3 Depression: Change in appetite is a classic sign of depression. Be sure to follow up with your health care provider if you feel down or suspect depression may be a problem.
#4 Sudden weight fluctuation: A weight change — losing or gaining 10 pounds in six months — is another sign that something could be amiss.
#5 Expired or spoiled food: Check the refrigerator for expired or spoiled food. Don’t save food until it’s no longer safe. Make sure that all food is labeled, with the date, in large
letters and numbers.
#6 Skin tone: Observe your skin tone. If you’re eating properly, your skin should look healthy and well-hydrated.
#7 Lethargy: If you are usually active and enjoy taking walks but suddenly become lethargic, it’s time to see your doctor. Poor nutrition could be to blame.
#8 Cognitive problems: Seniors who live alone can forget to eat. Dementia and cognitive problems can lead to nutritional deficiencies. Quick intervention is vital. Monitor your weight in your diary. Join a lunch club and have lunch with friends. Ensure that meals are planned into your daily routine
#9 More than three medications: Medication
can influence both appetite and weight. Check with your doctor to find out if
medications could be the culprit.
#10 A recent illness: Illness or a hospital stay can make you stop eating.
Keep tabs on your recovery, making sure you have reliable help at home.