Malnutrion in the Elderly

Topics: Nutrition, Food, Obesity Pages: 2 (680 words) Published: June 1, 2013
Malnutrition is defined as a state of over or under-nutrition with the presence of lack of protein, energy, and other nutrients that result in adverse effects on body composition, physiological function or clinical outcome. Malnutrition also results in low body mass index. Protein-energy malnutrition and weight loss are associated with many illnesses and adverse outcomes such as pressure ulcers, poor quality of life and increased risk of death. At any age, nutrition is vital to maintaining health and enhancing quality of life. However, achieving good nutrition can be especially difficult for the elderly, the fastest growing portion of America's population. Many factors, including physiological changes, changes in nutritional needs, illness and physical limitations, food-medication interactions, depression and loneliness, and food insecurity are common causes of malnutrition in the elderly. Malnutrition can be a dangerous problem in the elderly. It can be caused by many different problems, including: inability to prepare meals, loss of taste, low income, poor appetite, illness. Cognitive issues can also play a role in how well or often an elderly person eats. However, there are many different signs and clues that can be seen in a malnourished elderly person. Watching out for these signs is very important for caregivers and family members. The elderly have a sense of pride instilled in them that prevents them for asking for assistance with groceries, money, household duties, etc. Patients with pre-existing conditions are at a greater risk of being malnourished. Most of our elderly eat one meal a day. Our elderly that still live in their home depend on government funded programs such as meals on wheels to supply them with food. It is very common that people who have retired return to the work field because the SSI or retirement pension they receive are not enough to cover their bills and medications and results in them developing malnutrition because they...
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