People don’t tend to think of senior citizens as being a prime age for eating disorders. The truth is many seniors, including senior males, do have eating disorders. Could your dad be one of them?
National Eating Disorders Association reports that eating disorders in men and women are on the rise. While you might not think of your dad as being one to worry about his looks, mid-life weight gain, doctor’s orders to lose weight, and frequent reports of health risks tied to obesity could impact him.
Some seniors have always struggled with poor self-esteem and relapse in their senior years. For others, it’s brand new and frightening. As many consider eating disorders to be a problem teenagers face, they’re not likely to tell their doctor or their family. Eating disorders are always risky, but they are worsened in seniors due to the higher risk of osteoporosis, dental health, and cardiovascular health.
Signs of an Eating Disorder
-You may find your dad rigidly counting calories. He obsesses with the fat or sugar contents in foods. If a food is questionable, he won’t eat it. As this can make it hard to eat with others, he may start to withdraw. You’ll find him refusing to eat with others or go to dinner parties.
-If your dad is always trying the latest diet craze, even if it is clearly unhealthy, he could have an eating disorder. You find him refusing to eat any foods with gluten, even though he is not gluten intolerant, because he’s convinced it will help him lose weight. He’s certain his weight gain is all because of the types of foods he eats and not just related to aging and metabolism changes.
-Your dad has barely eaten all day. He stands up and is dizzy. He blames old age, but you’ve noticed he’s not eating as much. This can be a sign of an eating disorder.
-His skin and nails have gotten very dry and brittle. His hair may be falling out. He may always complain that he’s cold. He’s losing stamina and has to sit down after walking a short distance. Those are other signs of improper nutritional intake.
Get Help With Meals
The very first thing that’s needed is medical intervention. Talk to your dad’s doctor. He’ll need help overcoming his eating disorders.
Control your dad’s meal times with the help of senior care services. Caregivers work with you and your dad to create appealing menus, shop for ingredients, and cook and serve the meals. Caregivers can help your dad eat, if needed, and join him for meals. He’ll have someone with him to make sure he eats. Companionship is an essential part of having a caregiver come to your dad’s home. Call to learn more.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Home Care Services in Beaverton, OR, please contact the caring staff at Integrity In-Home Care.
Call today (503) 660-3755