Back to Blog

What Does It Mean When an Elderly Person Stops Eating?

Being a caretaker to a family member can be extremely stressful, especially if you have other responsibilities such as working full-time or caring for your own children. It can often feel as though you don't have enough time in the day to properly care for your loved one. 


But when your loved one starts refusing to eat, it adds an entirely new level of stress because you don't know what it means or what to do about it.


In this blog, we'll talk about what it means when an elderly person stops eating and what you should do about it.


Reasons Your Loved One Has Stopped Eating

There are a number of reasons that your loved one is no longer eating, which include:

  • A lack of energy to cook

  • Loss of appetite due to changing taste buds

  • Loss of appetite due to depression

  • Loss of appetite due to dementia

  • Loss of appetite due to other health-related issues

  • Medication side effects

Sometimes, your loved one will know exactly why they aren't eating. If it's something like simply lacking the energy to cook, maybe you can cook meals in advance for your loved one to eat during the week.


However, oftentimes your loved one won't know why they have lost their appetite. If this is the case, it is best to take them to the doctor to learn more about the root cause and what can be done to stimulate the appetite.


What to Do When an Elderly Person Stops Eating

Aging is associated with a decline in hunger and energy, which means you can't rely on your loved one's hunger to keep them fed each day. Therefore, after visiting a doctor, it's important to come up with a plan to ensure they eat regularly.


First, create an eating schedule for your loved one and stick to it. This means breakfast, lunch, and dinner should be eaten at the same time each day. 


Second, serve smaller portions so it's easier for your loved one to complete the meal. Make sure it's well-balanced and full of nutrients to boost energy and improve overall health.


Lastly, if you are unable to cook meals in advance for your loved one, hiring an in-home caregiver might be your best bet. Not only can they cook meals, but they will ensure your loved one is eating regularly so you won't have to worry while you're away.


Don't Wait—Act Now

When an elderly person stops eating, it's a sign of declining health that should never be taken lightly. While you may be able to get your loved one eating right now, the best way to ensure they are eating regularly is to have an in-home health care provider.


At Elite Home Health Care, we provide personal care services such as feeding, health monitoring, and transportation to appointments. With the services of our caregivers, you can rest assured that your loved one is in good hands and is eating regularly every day.


Take a look at our services page to learn more about how we can improve your life and the life of your senior loved one.

Written by: Yelena Sokolsky