Loss of appetite is a common issue among elderly adults, but it can cause serious problems.
If your senior is not eating enough, they may not be giving their body the nutrients it needs to stay strong and healthy, potentially making them more vulnerable to issues such as illness, infection, and even injury.
As a family caregiver, it is extremely important for you to not only recognize that your aging parent is not eating enough but to get to the root of the problem and figure out why. This enables you to make modifications to their care routine and their daily lifestyle that will help them to easily address these issues and manage them so they can improve their appetite and get the nutrients they need. While there are many potential issues that can lead to appetite loss, one common problem is dental health issues. If these are the cause of your senior’s appetite loss, addressing them effectively can help your parent avoid serious pain and discomfort, and also get the nutrition they need as they age in place.
Some signs it could be dental health issues that are the cause of your senior’s appetite loss include:
- Complaints about aching teeth
- Seeing them hold their mouth or jaw frequently, especially when they are eating
- Biting down on a napkin on a particular area of the mouth.
- Rinsing one side of the mouth with water during eating.
- Avoiding chewing on one side of the mouth or the other.
- Avoiding food that is very cold or very hot, which can trigger pain reactions to sensitive teeth.
- Avoiding very hard or crunchy foods, which can be difficult to chew for a senior who has painful or weakened teeth.
- Avoiding very sweet foods they usually love, which can trigger pain reactions in sensitive teeth or teeth that are decayed or damaged.
- Signs of blood when biting food.
- Brushing too softly or trying to avoid brushing particular areas of the mouth.
- Brushing areas of the mouth excessively which can relieve pain from exposure to sugar.
Elder care can be a fantastic way to help your aging parent maintain good dental health as they age in place.
Particularly if your elderly adult struggles with challenges that keep them from being able to follow through with these personal care tasks, such as cognitive functioning decline or arthritis, an elderly home care services provider can help them to manage these challenges effectively.
For example, a senior with cognitive function decline may need to be reminded to take care of their teeth, or modeled good behaviors to keep their mouths healthier. This can help them to avoid complications including pain, tooth decay, and infection, and enjoy an overall healthier lifestyle.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Home Care Services in Goodyear, AZ, please contact the caring staff at Blessings for Seniors Companion Care at (623) 594-0819
Blessings! for Seniors is based upon the kind of care he wanted for his mother. He wants to give to families the same care, concern and communication he sought to receive.
Established in 2005, Blessings! has an enviable track record of serving seniors and is a member in good standing of the Arizona Non-Medical Homecare Association (ASNHA).
Steve Kramer has a Bachelor of Science from Michigan State University and founded a business in Michigan called Home Bound Services, in which he worked with the Area Agency for Aging to provide services for seniors on Medicaid.
After moving to Arizona he worked for the State of Arizona as a Vocational and Rehabilitation Counselor.
As part of founding Blessings! he undertook training and certification as a Certified Senior Advisor, which is a professional certifying organization based in Colorado.
Steve is serving as Executive Director of Living Solutions for Seniors, a non-profit whose mission is to work with underserved older adults and individuals with disabilities to provide independence through education, resources and services.
He is Secretary of the Board for the Southwest Lending Closet, a non-profit organization that lends medical equipment to those in need. Plus, he is a member of the Goodyear White Tanks Rotary.
Christie Kramer is due to receive her Master of Social Work, with a concentration in Direct Practice: Adult Behavioral Health and Gerontology Certificate from Arizona State University in May 2013.
Her work experience includes serving as Research Aide to ASUs Assistant Professor Robin Bonifas, PhD on the latters senior bullying and resident aggression studies. The prior years student internship was with the Area Agency on Aging Region One, in which she learned about many of the agency's sixty different programs.
Christie is currently interning at Banner Alzheimers Institute and is immersed in supporting older adults as they manage the daily reality of living with a memory disorder. Over the past five years, she has volunteered with local organizations such as the Alzheimers Association, Maricopa Elder Abuse Prevention Alliance (MEAPA), Arizona Caregiver Coalition, and Maricopa Elder Behavioral Health Advocacy Coalition (MEBHAC).
Steve and Christie reside in Goodyear, AZ. They have five children, two adults living out of State, two attending ASU and one at Desert Edge High School.
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