Malnutrition in Seniors: Home Care is Key
Malnutrition happens if the body does not meet its nutritional needs. A lot of older adults aren’t getting enough to eat while they age. Undernutrition results in poor health and worse conditions like falling and muscle loss. Also, overnutrition or obesity is an issue of poor nutrition for aging people as it can negatively affect the management of chronic medical conditions.
Causes of Malnutrition in Elderly People
In terms of a lack of nutrition in older adults, poverty plays a role. Considering the costs of prescription medicines and medical care, it is already tough for most seniors to afford their necessities. Their small savings account and fixed incomes are simply not enough to support a nourishing diet. Aside from limited means, here are other factors that contribute to senior malnutrition:
- Health issues. Health problems like a chronic illness or dementia may lead to a lack of appetite in seniors. Also, a number of health issues may make it challenging for elderly people to absorb some nutrients.
- Restricted diet. A senior’s physician may have required that the person limits the amount of salt, fats, and sugar in his diet. Although this can help him with his medical condition, the lack of major nutrients may result in malnutrition.
- Withdrawal and Isolation. Without somebody to share a meal with, a senior may lose interest in cooking or eating.
- Depression. This disorder can totally transform a senior’s behavior, making him more anxious, sadder, and unwilling to get out of his bed. This debilitating condition could cause a senior to lose his appetite.
Determining if a senior is malnourished can be challenging, especially if he looks healthy. This might take a bit of detective work. If your senior loved one is living alone, visit him and check his pantry and refrigerator. Take an inventory to know if your loved one has used up his stocks. Also, pay attention to weight changes and monitor any medications he is taking because some medicines may cause a loss of appetite. Signs like undesired weight loss, fatigue, loss of appetite, more frequent infection or illness, and muscle weakness must be considered.
Because a lot of these symptoms can be caused by other factors, a physician is the only person to tell if your loved one is malnourished. Today, improved screening tools are used to reduce the risks of a poor diet amount older adults.
Caring for a Malnourished Loved One at Home
After determining that your senior love done is malnourished, help him get medical treatment. If you can visit him during his meal time, see if he is taking fruits, whole grains, vegetables, and lean meats. In case there are some special dietary considerations or needs which make it hard for him to enjoy his meals, encourage your loved one to experiment with various spices and herbs for a boost in food flavor. Ensure that his doctor knows any eating challenges. You can consult with a nutritionist to give you guidance for ways to incorporate more nutrients while restricting processed foods, added sugar, and solid fat consumption.
In case your aging loved one finds it hard to adhere to a healthy diet, home care in Florida might be the right option for him. Whether your loved one has a problem with chewing and swallowing, or has dietary restrictions, or just does not have an interest in planning a menu or preparing a nutritious meal, hiring a caregiver for him ensures that he gets adequate nutrition.
Hand in Hand Home Care Solutions, a reputable provider of home care services, have compassionate caregivers who will visit your loved one at his home to keep him company. Hiring one of our caregivers will guarantee that your loved one has somebody to remind him of his medication, check the expiration dates of his foods, prepare a shopping list, arrange medical appointments, and prepare meals for him. We look forward to serving your loved one soon. Call us at 407-335-4676.