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According to Dr. Margaret-Mary Wilson, who teaches and researches geriatric medicine at Saint Louis University, and has her own practice, severe loss of appetite and loss of weight are not a normal part of aging process. Some questions I would want to ask her husband is if he feels his wife is suffering from depression? The loss of appetite combined with the loss of interest in things she used to enjoy is a sign of a bigger issue. Even though he is not a “good cook,” I would like to know what kinds of foods he is attempting to cook for his wife.
I would also like to know how she feels. Does she have any health concerns that may scare her husband? Does she appear weak and helpless? How is her temperament? Is she easily irritated or is she jovial for the most part? What are his wife favorite foods is another question I would ask. Maybe he should make her more of her favorite things to see if she will consume those more.
The first strategy I would prescribe for her treatment plan is to meet a mental health professional. I would want to know if depression is the main cause of her lack of interest. If it was just a lack of interest in food solution would be much simpler. However, with the loss of interest in some of her favorite activities I am afraid there is now a mental health issue. Chronic pain from arthritis and her arthritis medicine itself can manifest depression in many elderly adults (Depression in Older Adults).
I also want the wife to have a full physical examination. At this point all we know is she appears to have good dental hygiene, but she has not seen a dentist in three years. That is not good when you are twenty so it can be a true detriment to your health when you are near eighty. An accurate and detailed physical examination would include an evaluation of the oral cavity and the respiratory and gastrointestinal systems (HUFFMAN).
I have a few issues with the husband taking care of his wife alone. First and foremost, with all the time he...
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