Malnutrition In Elderly

Experts study recently shows that malnutrition in the elderly and seniors is Increasing on a daily and may lead to more complications if care is not taken. For elderly people with certain chronic conditions, proper nutrition plays a very important role. TheHealthSite spoke to Ms. Anam Golandaz, Clinical Dietician, Masina on the topic, here’s what she wants you to know.

Malnutrition in the elderly is an under-recognized condition that is increasing in prevalence as the population ages. The term malnutrition is often used to describe a deficiency in nutrition that causes adverse effects on the body and its normal functions. Although there is no uniformly accepted definition of malnutrition in the elderly, some common indicators include involuntary weight loss, abnormal body mass index (BMI), specific vitamin deficiencies, and decreased dietary intake.

Despite the availability of several validated nutritional screening tools, many cases of malnutrition go undiagnosed, leading to increased morbidity and mortality, prolonged hospital stays, and frequent hospital readmissions. It is therefore important that healthcare providers be able to identify the causes and signs and symptoms of malnutrition. If identified early, malnutrition can be treated with proper adherence to a nutritional intervention plan. As people get older they tend to become more sedentary and their body composition changes, resulting in an increase in body fat and a decrease in lean muscle mass. The body responds to the need for less energy by decreasing appetite, a process known as “anorexia of aging, which is a major reason for malnutrition in the elderly population. Other factors that contribute to malnutrition in older adults include Decreased sense of taste and/or smell, Difficulty chewing and/or swallowing, Loss of physical strength or mobility, chronic conditions and medications, mental and emotional factors, and financial insecurity. A careful nutritional assessment is necessary for both the successful diagnosis of malnutrition in the elderly and the development of appropriate and comprehensive treatment plans. Good nutrition is important, no matter what your age. Maintaining a nutrient-dense diet is critically important for older adults because of the impact of food intake on health.

Tips To Find Balance Between Eating Desires And Nutrition Requirements In Elderly

How can the elderly find a balance between their eating desires and nutrition requirements?

  1. Make Meals and Snacks Nutrient-dense- This means making nutrient-rich foods the focus of the meal. For example, instead of clear chicken broth, try a hearty chicken and vegetable soup.
  2. Add Extra Calories without Extra Volume-For people who have a small appetite, there are ways to boost nutrition without adding lots of extra food. For example Add extra sauces, gravies, and grated cheese to entrees and side dishes. Stir powdered skim milk into milk, milkshakes, and cold and hot cereals.
  3. Use Herbs and Spices When Preparing Foods-Because many elders have a diminished sense of taste and smell, making food as flavourful as possible is important. Try cooking with garlic and onion powder, salt-free seasoning blends, and fresh and dried herbs, such as basil, oregano, thyme, and rosemary.
  4. Make Meals Colorful and Appealing-Strive include foods from every food group and of all different colors.
  5. Serve Several Small Meals and Snacks- Older people with diminished appetites are often overwhelmed by large meals, so eating smaller, more frequent meals and snacks can be less overwhelming.
  6. Do Not Fill Up on Non-nutritious Items- For people with a small appetite, it is important not to fill up on things like coffee, tea, and soft drinks, which can take the place of more nutritious items like buttermilk, milkshakes
  7. Make Mealtime Enjoyable and Social- When possible, invite friends or family over for meal times or visit community-based senior meal sites for social interaction during meals.

Dietary Tips For Elderly With Chronic Diseases?

For elderly people with certain chronic conditions, proper nutrition plays a very important role.It’s an essential part of managing many health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers. Making suitable lifestyle changes may prevent and helps to manage health. Health tips include-

  1. As we age, our caloric needs will probably decrease, while nutrient needs stay the same or increase. Eating nutrient-rich foods will help you get the vitamins, minerals, protein, carbohydrates, and fats you need.
  2. A portion is the amount of food or drinks we consume in one sitting. Being aware of food portions, serving sizes, and how often we consume them can help to healthier food and drink choices.
  3. Select high-fiber foods like whole-grain bread and cereals, beans, unsalted nuts and seeds, deeply colored vegetables (like green beans), and fruits.
  4. Heart Diseases are the leading cause of death among adults aged 65 and older. “Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, skim and low-fat dairy products, and low-fat meat and meat alternatives are the foundation of a heart-healthy diet.
  5. Read the nutritional labels to find items that are lower in fat, added sugars, and sodium.
  6. Make sure you’re drinking fluids on a regular basis.
  7. Pick physical activities that you enjoy and can do on your own or with a friend or group.

The article has been verified by Ms. Anam Golandaz, Clinical Dietician, Masina on the topic, here’s what the doctor wants you to know.


ALSO READ: Diabetes herb: a powerful plant that significantly lowers blood sugar levels by a quarter


This post first appeared on The Health Site

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