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Senior Eating Disorders: Knowing the Signs

Eating disorders are commonly thought of as problems for young people, but that is a myth. People with eating disorders are found among various age groups and genders, including senior citizens. It’s important for families and providers of hourly home care in Dallas, TX to understand the signs of an eating disorder to maintain senior health and wellness.

Significant Weight Changes Over a Short Time

Significant weight gain or loss over a short time can indicate something is wrong with your senior loved one. If seniors lose a lot of weight, it may indicate that they have an eating disorder or their body isn’t getting what it needs to function properly.

Wanting to Eat Alone

Demanding to eat alone is a common way for seniors to disguise how much they are eating or not eating during meals. It could also be a way to disguise purging behaviors after eating or even a means of hiding their food.

Using the Bathroom Immediately After Eating

Disappearing immediately after a meal could be a sign of purging, a hallmark of some eating disorders. Seniors who retreat immediately after a meal could also be hoarding or hiding food for later, which is another sign of an eating disorder.

Skipping Meals

Many people with anorexia nervosa will severely limit the amount of calories they consume each day. They also may try excessive exercise or laxatives to control their weight in conjunction with starvation. This behavior is especially dangerous for seniors who receive Dallas dementia home care as seniors with dementia need to maintain a nutritious, regular diet to support healthy brain function.

Obsession with Weight

Most people with eating disorders have an unhealthy obsession with weight and a distorted body image. For senior adults, this struggle with self-esteem may have been lifelong and only surface later in life as a response to a specific trigger. 

Treating eating disorders for senior adults requires cooperation from their doctors and a therapist. Most important, however, is understanding the signs of eating disorders. If you suspect your loved one has an eating disorder, it’s important to contact a medical professional. From there you can enlist the help of Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of comprehensive at-home care Dallas families can trust to help with nutritious meal preparation and daily exercise. Our dedicated caregivers make your loved one a priority and help him or her adopt healthy lifestyle habits to ensure health and wellbeing. Learn more about our services when you call (214) 253-8784 today and schedule a complimentary consultation with a friendly Care Manager.