Loss of Appetite
A progressive loss of appetite is a common part of the dying process. Eating and drinking no longer bring pleasure and renewed energy. Foods do not taste right.
Think about how much work it is for the body to process food. The ability to digest food and to maintain the proper balance of fluid is lost as the body shuts down. Lack of interest in eating and drinking may be a way for the body to protect itself from taking in something that could cause added stress.
If this is hard for you as a family member, friend or caregiver to accept, you are not alone. It might help to keep in mind that the person you care for is dying because of their illness not because they do not feel like eating. Food and drink cannot undo what is happening. Listen to what they want. Focus on what brings them pleasure.
- Respect the changes the body is signaling. Pressuring someone to eat or drink when they do not feel up to it will not make anyone feel better.
- Offer small bites of preferred foods. Cool, soft foods like applesauce or pudding are usually most appealing.
- Offer sips of water or ice chips.
- Provide frequent mouth care.
- Moisturize the lips.