Seniors and Malnutrition Risks

Preventing Malnutrition in Seniors for Greater Vitality

Malnutrition in senior adults can have many underlying causes; however, not receiving the proper nutrition can lead to significant health problems that are preventable. For this reason, it is imperative that seniors and their caregivers understand the challenges that may be faced by older adults regarding meal preparation and eating so that malnutrition can be avoided.

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Common Causes

Health concerns are among the most common reasons why a senior adult may experience malnutrition, even if they are eating a balanced diet. Often, digestive diseases lead to a person's body not absorbing the vitamins and minerals they need. Other reasons for malnutrition may include the following:

Signs of Malnutrition

Weight loss is one of the most obvious signs of a senior who is malnourished. However, subtler signs can occur that can help caregivers identify if a senior may be in need of help.

How to Reduce Risks

One of the first steps toward reducing the risks for malnutrition is to be informed regarding every medication a senior takes because many can cause a loss of appetite. If a senior experiences changes in their normal eating habits after starting a new type of medicine, then it may be necessary to discuss this with their physician. Additionally, family members and friends can share meals with their loved one to observe their eating habits. Those with disabilities, such as Parkinson's, may also need assistance with meal preparation and transportation to and from the grocery store. Some other ways to avoid malnutrition is to encourage the following:

When a senior experiences the signs of malnutrition, it is important to work hard to identify and eliminate any potential causes. Often, the simplest of solutions is all it takes to restore a senior back to their normal state of health. By being proactive, seniors and their loved ones can reduce the impact of malnutrition while enjoying a healthier future full of vitality.

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