Ask The Nurse; How Can I Help Prevent Malnutrition?

February 5, 2019

Good nutrition is vital to the health of the elderly yet many older adults are at risk. The following are some problems caused by malnutrition:

  1. Weak immune system which can cause an increase in infections.
  2. Poor wound healing.
  3. Muscle weakness and decreased bone mass which leads to fractures and falls.
  4. Increased risk of hospitalizations.
  5. Increased risk of death.

Malnutrition begins by too little food or a diet lacking in nutrients. What can you do to help? 

  1. Engage your doctor during routine office visits. Ask about nutritional supplements. Watch for weight loss. maybe changing medication affecting the appetite.
  2. Dental checks to ensure good oral hygiene and prevent mouth pain and chewing problems.
  3. Eat food packed in nutrients and plan between meal snacks.
  4. Consider a supplement. There are many out there to choose from.
  5. Outside help to ensure shopping for groceries, meals on wheels, or someone to assist with cooking.
  6. Exercise can stimulate the appetite.

Always involve your family and physician to set up a plan that is right for you.

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