Managing Appetite Loss from Cancer Treatment

Home Health Care Tyler TX - Managing Appetite Loss from Cancer Treatment

One of the side effects associated with cancer treatment is loss of appetite. If your aging relative is undergoing cancer treatment, you may notice that they aren’t eating as much as usual. Or, they might tell you that they feel full after eating just a little bit of food. Although they may not feel like eating, good nutrition is especially important during cancer treatment because it helps with overall health and helps to keep the senior stronger.

Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help your family member to get enough nutrition even when they aren’t interested in food. Below are some tips to try.

Offer Several Small Meals

If the older adult can’t eat much at one time, it’s okay for them to eat just a small amount at one time. Instead of sticking to the traditional three large meals a day, offer them many small meals throughout the day. Maximize the nutritional value of the smaller meals by using the healthiest foods possible. Make dishes that include lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.

Serve High Calorie Foods

When seniors aren’t able to eat a lot of food, it can be hard to consume enough calories. To compensate for that, serve high calorie foods. To increase calorie counts, try serving foods with butter, sauces, and gravy. Other high-calorie foods you can add to dishes are sour cream, nuts, nut butters, and cream.

Eliminate Beverages with Meals

Although it is important that your aging relative gets enough fluid to prevent dehydration, don’t offer a drink with their meal. The reason for this is that liquids can fill up the stomach, leaving less room for food. Instead, stop liquid intake about half an hour before the meal and wait until 30 minutes after the meal to resume drinking.

Make Mealtimes Pleasant

Try making mealtimes feel more special to make them more appealing. Turn on some soft music, use attractive place settings, and add some pretty flowers to the table or tray. Pay attention to the way food is plated and use a wide variety of foods in different colors and textures to make the food more attractive.

Get Help from Home Health Care Providers

If the older adult is feeling fatigued, they may not have the energy to make food for themselves. Home health care providers can take over the tasks that sap their energy, including cooking. Home health care providers can make lots of small meals and snacks during the day that use nutritious foods. Home health care providers can also offer companionship during meals, which can make eating more enjoyable.

Sources:  https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/side-effects/appetite-loss

https://www.cancer.net/navigating-cancer-care/side-effects/appetite-loss

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cancer/in-depth/cancer/art-20045046

If you or an aging loved-one are considering Home Health Care Services in Tyler TX to help with errands, appointments, light laundry, companionship or any other reason, call the caring staff at Home Aid Caregivers today.  (903) 533-1300