Community Blog

Seven Red Flags to Recognize Seniors with Eating Disorders

By Debbie Humphrey

 It seems I make some of the same New Year’s resolutions year after year: drink more water, eat a healthier diet and exercise more. Last year, I am proud to report, I held steadfast to my resolutions, and my follow-through resulted in weight loss!

I love food, and food is essential for our survival, yet some people live to eat, while others eat to live. That being said, it is important we remember to eat well to live well…especially as we age. Dieticians, nutritionists and caregivers can attest, statistics of seniors with eating disorders are astounding.

According to Eating Disorder Hope, an organization raising awareness about eating disorders affecting all ages, races and Home Helpers Clearwater Eating Disordersgenders, “A literature review, which examined published cases of eating disorders in people over 50 years old found that, ‘The majority (81%) of cases had anorexia nervosa, and 10% had bulimia nervosa. Late onset eating disorders were more common (69%) than early onset.’”*

Eating disorders can be overlooked in seniors, because, if you think about it, many elderly adults tend to be thin and frail. This can be a result of a small grocery budget, a serious illness, or quite possibly, an eating disorder.

Red flags that seniors you know may have an eating disorder include:

  • Changes in bathroom use and behaviors
  • Heightened sensitivity to cold
  • Hair loss, excessive hair loss
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Dental issues, damage
  • Heart maladies
  • Isolated eating

Home Helpers® proudly serves male and female seniors in Clearwater, Dunedin, Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor, Tarpon Springs, Holiday, New Port Richey, Trinity, Port Richey, Hudson and surrounding areas. If you recognize warning signs of potential eating disorders in your elderly relatives or friends, and your schedule does not allow you to monitor their eating habits regularly, contact us today to learn more about meal preparation, companion care, and everything that is made possible thanks to our amazing caregivers and the many services offered through Home Helpers®. We are Making Life Easier℠. 727-972-2539

*Source: Eating Disorder Hope