Understanding Malnutrition in Seniors

Elder Care in Encino CAOur bodies change significantly as we get older, which may have an impact on our overall health and dietary requirements. Malnutrition is one of the most serious and frequently disregarded problems that older people face. Senior malnutrition can result in a number of health issues, including compromised immune systems, a higher chance of developing chronic illnesses, and more. Seniors with elder care in the home can gain vital support and education regarding malnutrition to ensure they’re taking care of themselves in the best way possible.

Malnutrition: What Is It?

When the body doesn’t receive the nutrients it requires to function correctly, malnutrition sets in. An insufficient intake of calories, protein, vitamins, or minerals may be the cause of this. Malnutrition can be especially harmful to seniors since it can make age-related health problems worse and make it more difficult for them to recover from injuries and illnesses.

Reasons for Senior Malnutrition

While no two situations are the same, there are some typical reasons why seniors might be faced with malnutrition, including:

  • Changes in Appetite: Seniors’ appetites often change with age. This change may be a result of changes in how food tastes and smells, or they may have increased trouble swallowing. Either way, a lack of appetite can quickly result in malnutrition.
  • Chronic Diseases: A number of illnesses, including diabetes, heart disease, and gastrointestinal problems, can have an impact on the metabolism and absorption of nutrients. These illnesses’ medications may also affect hunger and nutritional intake.
  • Mental Health: Low appetite and unhealthful dietary choices might result from depression, anxiety, and cognitive impairment.
  • Socioeconomic Factors: Seniors who consume insufficient amounts of food may do so because of a lack of resources, social isolation, and restricted access to wholesome foods. This is an area where elder care can assist, offering tips for healthy meal planning that are also budget-friendly.
  • Functional Decline: It can be challenging for seniors to choose, cook, and eat healthy meals due to physical limitations and mobility concerns. As mentioned above, elder care can help seniors create healthy meal plans, but they can also assist with cooking, prepping, and even shopping when needed.

Signs of Malnutrition

Senior malnutrition can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are frequently mild and confused with aging processes. Key indicators to be aware of are:

  • Unintentional loss of weight
  • Weakness and exhaustion
  • Loss of muscular mass or reduction in muscle power
  • Delayed wound healing
  • Higher vulnerability to infections
  • Brittle hair and dry skin
  • Oral health or dental concerns

With elder care in the home, these signs may be noticed more quickly, ensuring that seniors get the care they need to avoid further issues.

Senior malnutrition is a serious issue that is frequently avoidable. Loved ones and elder care can support seniors in maintaining their health, independence, and quality of life by understanding the causes and symptoms and putting solutions in place to ensure proper nutrition. Additionally, seniors should be encouraged to talk with their medical team if they have concerns or questions.

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring Elder Care in Encino, CA, please contact the caring staff at Home Care Help. Serving All of Los Angeles County. Call us today at (888) 989-7388

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