Nutrition for the Elderly: 6 Ways to Prevent Malnutrition
As we get older, we experience some changes in our body that would prompt us to get special nutritional needs. When we reach the stage of late adulthood, it becomes normal for us not to eat the right balance of nutritious foods. We tend to become too picky in choosing the food we eat or be less physically active than before. While these changes occur gradually, we may not be able to notice anything changing right away. Once these changes set in, we have a responsibility in helping our elderly loved one make necessary adjustments with his diet and eating patterns. If we don’t take this seriously, the patient may begin to suffer from health problems or malnutrition.
Malnutrition should be avoided. It occurs when there is a nutritional imbalance or when the person is not taking the right amount of nutrients the body needs. Because it is a serious problem, it can place their health in danger. A patient suffering from malnutrition may require hospitalization to prevent complications – or in a worse case, death!
Heaven Sent Home Support Services LLC provides proper treatment plan for an elderly patient at risk of malnutrition. If treatment is given right away, a senior can reduce his risk of having skin problems, infection, electrolyte imbalance, anemia, fatigue or weakness. At our Home Care Services in Oakland Counties Michigan, we have home care providers who know how to help prevent malnutrition by observing its signs and symptoms. The following are some ways to prevent malnutrition among the elderly population:
Create a healthy diet plan
Depending on the senior’s health condition, create a diet plan that caters to his nutritional needs. Encourage adding healthier food choices into the diet plan, and if you can, ask help from a nutritionist or a dietician.
Snacks in between
There are plenty of healthy snack options you can add to the patient’s diet plan. Choose one in between meals that can get extra calories and nutrients needed by the body.
Invite loved ones over
It is also a wonderful idea to invite loved ones over for a meal so the patient can be encouraged to eat the meals prepared. Make meal time as exciting as social events so you will not have a hard time feeding your loved one.
There are plenty of benefits of regular exercise. Aside from keeping your body healthy and improving your health, regular exercise can also improve your patient’s appetite. Ask help from a medical expert to know which type of exercise is suitable to the health condition of the patient.
Add supplements to the diet
Depending on the dietician’s assessment, the patient can take dietary supplements to provide additional nutrients and to prevent deficiency or insufficiency. There are different types of supplements available, but before taking one, make sure that it is prescribed by the doctor, and the details of the drug have been explained well to you. Most commonly, doctors would prescribe multivitamin supplements because of the amount of vitamins and minerals that they provide. Nonetheless, it is still best if you consult your doctor about it first because they know best.
It is also a good option to choose home care service for your patient. With the help of a home care provider, the nutritional needs of your loved one can be closely monitored. If you are looking for a reliable home care agency, you can choose In Home Elderly Care Assistance in Southeast Michigan. You can trust our home care providers to implement the proper care plan for your senior loved one to prevent malnutrition.
It can be difficult to know if your loved one is malnourished unless you have him checked by a medical doctor. What you can do is to check the refrigerator or food storage at home to know what type of food your loved one has been eating. It is also best if you observe his eating habits. If you see some problems, you can consult your loved one’s doctor for help, and inform the medical expert about your observations. He may find out the root of the problem (depression, underlying health condition, etc.) so proper treatment can be given.