Your senior might find that as she nears the end of her life, eating is far lower a priority than it has ever been. This can be upsetting, especially when you know for certain that your elderly family member is barely eating anything at all. But what is causing your senior to experience such a huge decrease in her appetite? There may be a lot of different factors involved and with end of life care you can consider these factors.
Symptoms Cause a Decrease in Her Appetite
Your elderly family member may be dealing with a variety of different symptoms, depending on what health issues she’s facing at the end of her life. She may be in pain, for instance, or be experiencing nausea, shortness of breath, loss of taste, or trouble swallowing. Sometimes these symptoms are even a side effect of curative treatments, such as chemotherapy.
Medications Have Side Effects that Impact Appetite
Side effects from medications may have caused a variety of problems for your elderly family member over the years. If she’s still taking medications, then it’s important to look at what side effects those medications have for her. These side effects can be even more pronounced as your senior grows older and is closer to the end of her life. This can happen because your elderly family member’s body responds differently to the medications, even if she’s been taking them for a long time.
She Might Be Depressed
But there can also be psychological triggers that are affecting your senior’s appetite. Depression is one of the biggest, especially if your elderly family member is feeling upset about her own situation. Feeling hopeless about her future is a major contributing factor to depression and she may feel a decrease in all sorts of desires, ranging from her desire to eat to her desire to do the activities that she enjoys.
There May Be Other Issues for you and Their End of Life Care Aides to Consider
It’s also entirely possible that your senior is facing other issues that make eating difficult or impossible. She may have swelling in her esophagus that makes eating and swallowing painful, for instance. Or she might be dealing with inflamed lungs that steal space from her stomach, making eating extremely uncomfortable. It’s worth exploring what else might be happening.
Dealing with the changes to your senior’s appetite can be frustrating for you and for her. End-of-life care providers can help your senior to find solutions that work for her and that meet her medical needs, too.