Malnutrition is very prevalent among elderly individuals. Nutritious food is something everyone needs, but none more so than the really aged and the really young. In older people, lack of this can trigger severe sicknesses, including quite a few complex and incurable ones. It is a fact that even in some nursing homes, there are aged people who do not get the proper nutritious food which they need, and this severely affects their bodies.
Causes of Malnutrition
Many older adults, since they do not have the strength to go out and purchase or cook food, can grow malnourished pretty quickly. Additionally, if they eat very little, to begin with, or eat unhealthy foods predominantly, there is a higher chance for them to miss out on the nourishment they require to thrive. Sometimes they may be focused on raising money for some other use. Another reason to abstain from eating is if they are recently bereaved of a spouse and still grieving their death.
There are many other reasons why an aging adult may hesitate to eat, or derive little nutrition when they actually are eating enough for one person. In each case, the proper reason needs to be found out, and a workable solution devised. The problem could boil down to a loss of appetite due to a health issue, digestion problems, or anxiety due to a life issue. Sometimes it can be medicines which they take regularly that are causing difficulty in absorbing the right nutrients from the food they take in. Aged people living in nursing homes may be malnourished because of the improper care given to them by the staff there, although this is not all that common. An assisted living facility could certainly provide this type of care.
Prevention of Malnutrition
One should always look out for signs and symptoms of malnutrition. These can be physical or psychological. Physical signs can include weight loss, fatigue, loss of muscle strength, slow healing wounds, etc. If there is any sign of depression, then the issue must be taken seriously and treated without delay.
If your loved one is in a nursing home or in their own house, it can be a good thing visiting them during mealtimes so that you can have an idea about the quality and quantity of the food which they eat regularly. If your aged relative is staying alone, it should be made sure that they have food prepared and ready when they need it. If not, you can see to it that they have sufficient supplies for when they are hungry.