How to Prevent Senior Malnutrition
Many seniors require a specialized diet to help them stay as healthy as possible and to cope with the changes to the body and how food is digested. Many seniors, particularly those living independently, find it hard to get the proper nutrition that they need for a variety of reasons.
One reason is simple lack of proper food intake. These individuals find it hard to remember to eat meals accordingly and some find it very difficult to get up the energy to cook for only themselves. A general lack of interest for cooking comes once their family has gone and they are there alone. Some seniors find it difficult to eat properly because of the reduced appetite or nausea associated with their medications.
There are several ways that you can help a senior you know avoid malnutrition and get the proper vitamins and minerals that they need for good health and survival.
What's in the Fridge?
One way to help a senior stay well-nourished is by making sure that they have a properly stocked refrigerator. If the food is easily accessible to them and doesn't require a lot of preparation, they are far more likely to partake in proper dietary habits. Another reason to check out the fridge is to keep tabs on how well they are eating, if anything. Keeping a food diary can help you get a handle on the status of the situation.
Talk About It
Make conversation about their eating habits to find out when they do and do not eat. Ask them if they had anything to eat today and what it was. This will give you a good idea of what they are eating and how often they are taking in food. You can encourage them to eat more appropriately by bringing them food or offering to share a meal with them. Sometimes the company will promote them to want to eat.
In order to prevent malnutrition it is important that you catch the signs of it early on. Pay close attention to their health situation and note any changes in their behavior as well as any weight loss. This could be indicators that there is an issue with their diet and the amount of nutrition that they are getting.
Don't Take Chances
Consider helping them to get on a regimen of supplements that will cover them in if they are missing the right nutrients and vitamins. There are a few that should be considered for the job including folic acid, B-12, Vitamin C, Vitamin D and essential fatty acids found in things such as flaxseed oil, tuna, sardines, crab and trout.
Making sure that your favorite senior is getting proper nutrients is essential to keeping them from malnutrition and serious health problems that could lead to death. Take the time to get involved and ask them the important questions. They may not even realize that they are causing themselves harm. Get them the help they need and take an interest in what they are eating each day.
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