Detecting Malnutrition in Seniors: It’s a Common Problem That Often Is Missed

Elderly asian woman bored with foodRemember weekend dinners at the grandparents’, whenever the whole family came together around the table to share a hearty meal, chitchat, and laughter? Unfortunately, with a lot of families now living a fair distance away from their older family members, and with so many demanding needs pulling us in different directions, it is hard to keep on with this tradition – and it may be one among the numerous factors adding to the dramatic rise in senior malnutrition.

As many as 25% of all senior citizens within the United States are malnourished, resulting in critical health concerns. For many older adults who live alone, they just aren’t motivated to cook properly on their own. Others are suffering from grief, depression, anxiety, cognitive difficulties, poverty, medication side effects, and a lot more.

Whatever the underlying factors, elderly people who are malnourished face compromised immune systems, longer and more complicated hospital stays, readmissions, and earlier mortality. And detecting malnutrition in seniors is not as simple as noticing weight loss in a senior; those who appear healthy or maybe even overweight can also be struggling with malnourishment problems.

One principal aspect of detecting malnutrition in seniors and subsequently addressing it lies in the hands of the medical community. Seniors ought to be screened for nutrition issues by their primary care doctor, and a dietary plan set up. When hospitalized, hospital personnel should also consider any potential nutritional requirements, and include their findings and a recommended course of action in discharge paperwork to be reviewed with both caregivers and the senior’s doctor.

Family caregivers also play an important role in ensuring the nutritional needs of the senior family members are met, and in helping uncover the main cause if problems are revealed. For instance, if financial concerns are preventing the senior from keeping a healthier eating plan, she or he may qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Presently, up to three out of five older adults who do qualify for the program are not making use of its benefits.

It’s essential to concentrate on signs that your elderly family member may possibly not be adhering to a healthy diet, and also to discuss any concerns with the older adult’s physician. And call on the top Portage in home care providers, Home Sweet Home In-Home Care, for support in establishing better nutritional habits for the senior family member. We can plan and prepare balanced meals, pick up groceries and ensure there are healthy food choices options in the fridge and pantry all the time, as well as provide friendly companionship that will make mealtime more pleasant.

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