The Elderly Nutrition Problem
- By: Scott Vanderhoef
- Diet and Nutrition
Remember weekend dinners at the grandparents’, as the entire family came together around the table to share a hearty meal, chitchat, and laughter? Sadly, with a lot of families now living far away from their older relatives, along with so many urgent needs pulling us in numerous directions, it is hard to keep on with this tradition – and it might be one among the countless factors adding to the dramatic rise of the elderly nutrition problem—senior malnutrition.
Around 25% of all seniors within the U.S. are malnourished, leading to critical health issues. For quite a few older adults who live alone, they simply are not inspired to cook properly on their own. Others are experiencing grief, depression, anxiety, cognitive difficulties, poverty, medication side effects, and a lot more.
Whatever the underlying factors, seniors who are malnourished face compromised immune systems, longer and more complicated hospital stays, readmissions, and earlier mortality. And revealing malnutrition is not as simple as noticing weight loss in a loved one; those who appear healthy and even overweight may also be battling with malnourishment problems.
One principal aspect of uncovering senior malnutrition and subsequently dealing with it lies in the hands of the medical community. Seniors should always be screened for nutrition issues by their primary care doctor, and a dietary plan established. When hospitalized, hospital personnel should also consider any potential nutritional requirements, and include their findings and a prescribed course of action in discharge paperwork to be reviewed with caregivers as well as the senior’s physician.
Loved ones also play an important role in ensuring the nutritional needs of their senior family members are met, and in helping to uncover the primary cause if problems are revealed. As an example, if financial concerns are preventing the senior from maintaining a healthy diet, she or he may be eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Presently, as many as three out of five older adults who do qualify for the program are not using its benefits.
It’s critical to pay attention to signs that your elderly loved one might not be following a healthy diet plan, and to discuss any concerns with the senior’s doctor. And call on Heaven at Home Senior Care for support in establishing better nutritional habits for your senior loved one. We could plan and prepare balanced meals, pick up groceries and make certain there are healthy food options in the fridge and pantry all the time, and supply friendly companionship that makes mealtime more enjoyable. Call us at 866-381-0500 or contact us online to find out more about our Grayson home health care services.