Millions of Americans don’t eat like they should, including those aged 65+. Although proper nutrition is important at any age, proper senior nutrition can be even more important. In fact, malnourished seniors are more likely to experience falls, anemia, illnesses and hospitalizations. For those still living at home, malnutrition can place their freedom and independence at risk. If you’re currently looking after an aging in place loved one who’s “nutritionally challenged” here are some ways to ensure that they get the nutrients their body so desperately needs.
Why Many Seniors Don’t Eat Right
For many seniors ordering fast food or opening a bag of chips is much easier than preparing a nutritious meal- especially when they live alone.
Here are some other factors that cause malnutrition in the elderly:
- Trouble eating because of arthritis or other physical problems
- Diminished sense of taste or smell
- Chewing or swallowing difficulties
- Issues that interfere with food shopping or meal preparation
- Limited income
- Side effects from medications
- Loneliness and depression
- Cognitive impairment caused by dementia or Alzheimer’s disease
To make matters even worse, healthcare appointments and check-ups typically lack any nutritional counseling. Unfortunately, malnourishment can lower a senior’s quality of life and ultimately placing their health and wellbeing at risk.