You may have noticed your parent’s appetite diminishing or their favorite food becoming less appealing. This scenario is frequently due to their changing senses, particularly their smell and taste, which diminish with age.
Starting at around 50 years of age, the body’s taste buds begin to decline in number. Medications, specifically some of the drugs designed to lower blood pressure, can alter how food tastes. Both alcohol and smoking can alter or diminish both taste and smell. It’s interesting to note that smell plays a large part in one’s taste of food. Think about when you have a cold and your nose is stuffed up, you really can’t taste food in quite the same way, if at all. The sense of smell gradually declines as the body ages.
If your parent complains about diminished taste or smell, make an appointment with their primary health care provider. There are some diseases that produce diminished senses including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. There are also some medications that produce these issues. If you find that your parent is in good health, consider the following to help them increase their appetite and eat well.
- Go over-the-top when it comes to spices and herbs—as long as your parent’s digestive system can handle these types of foods. The added flavor can enhance the meal. Consider rosemary with eggs or other types of protein, thyme with potatoes and rice, and ginger with vegetables. Spice things up a bit with garlic, onions, peppers and strong mustards as well as any other sauces that your parent enjoys.
- Provide nutrient-dense foods so that the food your parent does eat is high in valuable nutrients. Foods that fall into this category include vegetables, seafood, eggs, beans, nuts and seeds. Avocados are also a nutrient-dense food. Spice it up with some salsa and enjoy some guacamole with baked tortilla chips.
- If they smoke, help them stop. A government sponsored website called Smokefree 60+ offers tips, tools and support—including a quitting plan—specifically for those who are 60 years of age and older.
Senior Care Provider
A senior care provider not only assists with the everyday activities of living, they also prepare healthy meals. In addition, they can do the grocery shopping and run other errands, making sure to load up on the spices and nutrient-dense foods that your parent requires. They can provide transportation and accompany your parent on weekly outings. A visit every now and then to their favorite restaurant may be just what the doctor ordered.
If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Newport Beach, CA, please contact the caring staff at Canaan Home Care today! 1-844-CANAAN-1 (1-844-226-2261)