Aging and Malnutrition
Proper Nutrition is essential for physical, social, and psychological well-being. Disturbingly, numerous studies show that malnutrition is common among the elderly. Essential Vitamin and Mineral deficiency plague many older adults. Another common problem is diminished calorie intake that leaves older adults without the energy their body needs to fully function.
There are many reasons that older adults are more susceptible to malnutrition, some common causes are listed below.
- Diminishing Sense of Taste and Smell
- Inability to Chew
- Medication Interference
- Income Restrictions
- Inability to Shop or Cook
- Physical and Mental Illness
If you are a caregiver for a family member who may not be receiving adequate calories or nutrition to stay healthy, there are ways to help.
- Periodically inspect their refrigerator and cupboards to determine if adequate food is available.
- Assist with preparing meals and leave enough for easy to re-heat leftovers.
- Provide Nutritional Supplements between meals, such as Nestle Carnation Instant Breakfast Drinks (check with your physician before changing or altering dietary intakes)
- A more “taste-enticing” option may be to offer Boost Nutritional Pudding Cups, available in Vanilla, Chocolate, and Butterscotch flavors.
- “Meals on Wheels”: A non-profit organization that delivers home-cooked meals during the day for those aged 60+ who require assistance. To find out more information on this service and locate a meals-on-wheels provider in your area, please visit their web site at www.mowaa.org.