As your senior approaches the end of her life, you might need to get a little more creative about convincing her to eat. The biggest issue for her is likely to be nausea, whether that’s related to health issues or to treatments of those issues.
Fluids and Proper Hydration Help a Lot
Food might not be appealing to your senior right now, but that doesn’t mean that she doesn’t need nutrients. If she’s open to trying some cool water, that can help with nausea and will help her to avoid becoming too dehydrated. Once water goes well, consider offering her broth. Bone broth in particular is full of nutrients but it’s just like sipping water. It can also be soothing to her stomach, but she’s getting plenty of nutritional benefits with hydration.
Try More of What She’s Interested In
Your senior might be turned off to most foods, but there might be something that she does find appealing. It might be a specific flavor of gelatin dessert or something else. Regardless of what it is, try to give her what she’s craving. If she’s nauseated and not eating much else, at least she’s getting something into her system, even if it’s not the healthiest choice overall. You can always ask her doctor if it’s an okay food for her to have if you’re really unsure.
Sweeter Foods Aren’t a Great Idea
There is one type of food you might want to limit, if you can, and that’s food that’s really sweet. Some yogurts have high sugar content, as do some prepackaged puddings and other foods. These might be foods that your senior finds appealing, but a really high sugar content can be a contributing factor to nausea. That might keep her from eating more later, which defeats the purpose.
Some Days Are Going to Be Better than Others
Every day won’t be like all of the others, even toward the end of your senior’s life. She may find that some days she feels great and she’s content to try to eat a little more. Other days she may have no interest at all in food. Regardless of how she’s feeling, try to offer her nutritious food choices that meet her needs and don’t stress either of you out too much about what she’s eating or when.
This can be a very difficult time for both you and your senior. She may want to make you happy and eat, but if she’s nauseated or having other problems with eating, that’s going to be difficult at best. Hospice elder care providers can help you to get the best nutrition into your senior that you can.
If you or an aging parent is considering hospice elder care in Yardley, PA, please contact the caring staff at Serenity Hospice today. Call (215) 867-5405.
A veteran of providing quality healthcare, Michael has served with distinction in a variety of leadership capacities for nearly two decades, notably as administrator for several Skilled Nursing Facilities in New Jersey. Known as an innovative and solution-oriented individual, Michael has his finger on the pulse on new trends and concepts in providing quality care.
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