Why Elders Lose Appetite? How to Stimulate It?

elder persons eating

Many older adults fight for meals or just refuse to eat because they have lost their appetite. This is a significant issue, as seniors must eat well to stay as healthy and active as possible. First, exclude severe health conditions or side effects of medicines. It is essential to talk to your doctor if older adult suddenly loses appetite. A test may be required to exclude severe health conditions or side effects of medication.

Some serious diseases cause taste and appetite alterations, including:

  • Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease

  • Thyroid

  • Cancer

  • Gum diseases

  • Salivary gland problems

Neither food or water can affect food or water taste and cause loss of appetite. Species of salivary gland medication may change the flavor or taste of food or water.

Reasons for Appetite Loss

Exercise Lacking - Regular exercise and activity contribute to increased appetite. Seniors sometimes must work out to maintain their appetite.

Dehydration - The loss of appetite can result from the dehydration. Many older adults do not receive enough fluids and become dehydrated because of changes in age or medications.

Meal Preparing Inability - Seniors who live independently may not eat because it has become too difficult to prepare their meals.

Lack of Taste - Many people are less able to detect aromas with age. Common foods could be unpleasant and bland.

Difficulties in chewing, swallowing or eating on their own

If eating on their own is very much difficult, seniors might not want to eat.

  • Normal aging

  • Dental problems

  • Medicinal medications

  • Operations

  • Stroke, dementia, multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson's or other conditions of health can lead to these problems.


Depression affects 1 in 10 older people and often leads to appetite loss. Many older people also may not like meals because they don't have someone to eat and their loneliness increases.

Losing Control

If older adults depend for everything on others, they have lost control of how they want to live. Sometimes it doesn't make anyone want to eat to choose what to eat.

Increase Appetite in Elderly

While there is no treatment for elderly appetite loss, some tricks can help you answer the question.

Make sure your elderly do not experience oral problems such as mouth sores and swallowing problems. Our customers often tell us that they prefer softer food because it is easier to swallow and digest.

Keeping on a routine with food is important. We do not, as we age, have the same physiological motivation to eat, which can cause the elderly to lose their appetite, so if we create a routine, the older adult is regularized, and they can easily track what senior eats daily.

In our home, senior care in Oklahoma hydration stations is a permanent staple. You walk in and usually see large water supply systems with fruits, like strawberries or pineapples, cut into them. Seniors should remain hydrated so that the digestion and the regularity of the whole process are helpful. It is best to maintain hydrated fruit juices and water.

Calming dining with soft music and silent voices will help residents stay and enjoy the food experience. The resident will not want to stay, may become agitated, and may not end his meal when the environment is too loud and rushed. The creation of a pleasant environment will help people to stay and enjoy their food.

In our senior home care in Oklahoma, dining is a great form of socialization for the seniors. It’s an event! When we are alone, especially eating alone, this is cause for isolation and depression. Eating in a group leads to conversation and togetherness.

Contact Redhaven Care Homes for home senior care in Oklahoma if you want your parent to stay in a healthy and happy environment with good nutrition.