We’ve recognized that as people age and/or are battling illness, their appetite is affected – typically negatively. Often, age itself, a slower metabolism, and illness cause someone to not be as interested in eating. Medications used to treat illnesses or treatment, such as chemotherapy or radiation, can make people feel sick, nauseated, or almost too tired to eat.
One way we show love in our society is by feeding those we love and participating and sharing time with them while we eat. As someone struggles with not having enough appetite due to sickness or the effects of aging,, they need to be supplemented in some form or fashion.
- You can buy basic supplements, like Ensure or Boost. There are many varieties and flavors, and ones that are particularly better for people with diabetes that do not raise their blood sugar. The idea is to supplement the diet with more protein, calories and vitamins, while being careful not to substitute these shakes for food. Perhaps you offer a half of a shake with a small meal?
- Another way to get more calories into our loved ones is to mix in ice cream, which is calorie dense, but also provides some additional calcium from the milk, with something like Boost or Ensure to make a milkshake. Creating an even denser milkshake can be done by putting peanut butter or almond butter in to provide more protein and calories.
- You can also sprinkle some slivered almonds, raisins, dried cherries or anything that might be considered an “extra” on top of yogurt, cottage cheese, soups or ice cream. Often, creamier foods are easier to get down when someone is just taking little nibbles, as they do not require a lot of chewing, and to add calorie-dense items as a topping can be very helpful.
Yes, we do want our loved one to eat what is served to them, but sometimes, we need a little assistance to make it more appealing.
For the last decade, Amy Hane has been committed to serving the CSRA community by guiding those going through mental, physical and social issues related to caring for an aging or disabled loved one. She assists families with transitions to higher quality care for the safety and wellbeing of all involved.
Amy holds both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of South Carolina, is a licensed Master Social Worker in South Carolina and Georgia, an Advanced Professional Aging Life Care Manager and also a Certified Advanced Social Work Case Manager.