Remember Sunday dinners at Grandma’s, whenever the whole family came together round the table to enjoy a hearty meal, chitchat, and laughter? Regrettably, with many families now living at a distance from their older loved ones, along with so many pressing needs pulling us in numerous directions, it is difficult to keep on with this tradition – and it could be one among the countless factors adding to the dramatic rise in senior malnutrition.
Up to 25% of all seniors in the United States are malnourished, resulting in critical health concerns. For some older adults who live alone, they just are not inspired to follow a senior nutrition program on their own. Others are enduring grief, depression, anxiety, cognitive difficulties, poverty, medication side effects, and much 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 revealing malnutrition is not so simple as observing weight loss in a loved one; people who appear in good health or maybe even overweight may also be fighting with malnourishment problems.
One main aspect of uncovering senior malnutrition and subsequently dealing with it lies in the hands of the medical community. Seniors should always be screened for nutrition issues by their primary care physician, and a well-balanced senior nutrition program should be set up. When hospitalized, hospital personnel should also pay attention to any potential nutritional requirements, and include their findings and a recommended course of action in discharge paperwork to be discussed with caregivers and also the senior’s physician.
Members of the family also play an important role in ensuring the nutritional needs of their senior family members are met, as well as in helping uncover the root cause if problems are found. For example, if monetary concerns are preventing the older adult from keeping a healthy diet, she or he may qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Currently, up to three out of five older adults that quality for the program are not utilizing its benefits.
It’s critical to concentrate on signs that your elderly loved one may not be adhering to a healthy eating plan, and to go over any concerns with the older adult’s physician. And call on Regency Home Care for help in establishing a well-balanced senior nutrition program for your loved one. We can plan and prepare balanced meals, pick up groceries and make certain there are healthy food choices options within the fridge and pantry all of the time, and provide friendly companionship that makes mealtime more enjoyable. Contact us today to learn more about in home care in Atlanta.