Why Is Malnourishment Suddenly a Concern for Your Senior?
Malnourishment is something that most people don’t think about in terms of an aging adult’s health. The idea that your senior might not be getting enough nourishment from her food to keep her healthy may be completely foreign, but it’s possible. These are just a few of the possible causes.
She’s Not Eating Well
If your elderly family member is eating the same foods every day or she’s simply not eating much, that’s a fast track to malnourishment. The beauty of a diverse diet is that the combination of foods also offers a variety of nutrients, including essential vitamins and minerals. But when your elderly family member isn’t eating much or is not eating that variety of foods, she’s missing big chunks of nutrients that help her to stay healthy.
Her Health Has Changed
When your elderly family member’s health changes, that affect how her body is able to take in nutrients. She may also be taking medications due to health issues that affect how nutrients are absorbed by her body. Talk to your senior’s doctor, especially if your senior’s medications or overall health have changed recently. There may be other situations that are contributing, too.
She’s Isolating Herself
Isolation has a bigger impact on your aging family member’s nutritional intake than either of you might know. Lots of people tend to eat during social situations, especially if they live alone. And if your elderly family member has been spending more time on her own or is deliberately spending time away from people she usually spends time with, that may be at play. It’s tough to cook for one person, or sometimes even to think about what a meal might be. This might be solved by bringing in elder care providers do to the meal preparation for your senior.
She’s Experiencing Emotional Issues
Beyond all of these other concerns, your elderly family member may be emotionally off. Depression and anxiety are just two of the emotional issues that could be interfering with your senior’s appetite and her willingness to eat foods that will properly nourish her. Sometimes these are temporary concerns, but other times these are situations where you’ll need to talk to your senior’s doctor about what she’s experiencing.
Your elderly family member might be having malnourishment problems for a variety of reasons, so it’s always a good plan to explore as many possibilities as you can to find an answer.