Emotional Overeating in the Elderly
Elderly Care in Princeton NJ
We’ve all had times when we’ve been down or felt worn out. Maybe we had a long day at work and it felt like everything went wrong, or maybe we’ve had a bad argument with a friend or family member. Times like these, people often turn to comfort food. Eating our favorite, decadent meal makes us feel better.
There are a number of reasons why people sometimes turn to comfort food for an emotional boost, and typically it isn’t a problem. However, for the elderly, the major changes in their lives can lead them to chronic overeating, which is a serious problem.
Some of the reasons your mom or dad may overeat are:
- Depression – There are so many changes that happen in an older person’s life. Their body changes, their health changes, they began losing friends and family members to death. It’s understandable for them to feel sadness or even depression and despair.
- Loneliness – Even when your parent is receiving home care and they haven’t had to uproot their life to move to an elder care facility, it is still possible for your mom or dad to experience feelings of loneliness. Often the elderly can no longer drive. If their body has deteriorated, they’re not as mobile as they once were and can’t do much walking. The result is that they’re stuck at home while everyone else continues on with their lives. It can feel like the world has moved on without them and left them behind.
- Deterioration of Health – People who suffer from anxiety attacks describe the feeling as feeling like their mind has turned against them. For the aging, it can feel like their bodies have turned against them. Health issues impact their mobility. In addition to this, they often have to take medications with negative side effects.
When people are dealing with so many emotional and physical issues, eating delicious food can be a source of pleasure. One of only a few pleasures. Food is also something that is in their control.
Another factor to consider is that typically, when people overeat they’re not eating healthy food. Too much sugary foods, like chocolate and cakes, or fried foods can cause other health issues.
If you think your loved one is overeating, talk with him or her about it. Find out what’s the source of the distress and try to find a solution together. It may beneficial to seek medical assistance if the problem proves too big for you to handle alone.