Malnutrition among senior citizens is on the rise in the US. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, there were 3.7 million seniors who were diagnosed with malnutrition. A Place for Mom published this thorough list of causes & warning signs to help protect your senior loved ones.
Causes of Malnutrition in Seniors
• Lack of interest in cooking
• Living alone and eating for one
• Changing taste buds
• Medication side-effects that suppress appetite or create bitter tastes
• Restricted diets such as low sodium or low fat diets
• Preferring to drink alcohol over eating
• Trouble swallowing
• Trouble chewing due to sore gums or poor dental health
• Limited income to buy nutritious food
• Expensive medications leave little room for food
• Lack of mobility – unable to get to the store
• Depression and dementia
Senior Malnutrition Prevention Checklist
• Check the refrigerator and observe eating habits.
• Watch for health changes and fluctuation in weight.
• Encourage foods rich in the 5 key vitamins and nutrients.
• Boost hydration with 9 glasses of water a day.
Ways to Help
• Buy and prepare foods packed with nutrients.
• Restore life to bland food.
• Encourage snacking.
• Get a check up from a physician.
• Visit a registered dietician.
• Encourage supplements.
• Check the pantry & refrigerator.
• Encourage drinking water.
• Discourage alcohol.
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