National Nutrition Month: Common Nutrition Problems for Seniors

March is National Nutrition Month and a great time to learn more about how to keep a balanced diet during your golden years. Malnutrition and obesity are both common among people over the age of 65 and nutritional problems in the elderly can cause complications like a weakened immune system, lower energy levels, and chronic health problems.

It’s important to make the necessary changes in your senior’s diet to prevent malnutrition and avoid any potential consequences.

  • Malnutrition
    Malnutrition is an imbalance of protein, calories, and essential vitamins that your body needs every day. Malnutrition is generally caused by getting too little food or having a diet severely lacking in nutrients, but the cause may be more complex and linked to a combination of physical, social, and psychological issues.It’s important to talk to a doctor or your caregiver about any concerns you may have regarding appetite, weight changes, or other concerns about your nutrition and health.
  • Weight Fluctuations
    Both weight loss and weight gain can be problems for the elderly. While a slower metabolism is common as you age, sudden weight changes can be indicative of a more serious health problem. A slower metabolism coupled with reduced activity can contribute to obesity. Meanwhile, limited access to food, decreased appetite, medication side effects, and other complications may cause weight loss.
  • Cardiovascular Disease
    The incidence of hypertension and heart diseases like atherosclerosis or congestive heart failure is higher due to changes in cardiovascular function. These often require imposing strict dietary restrictions and lifestyle changes.
  • Dehydration
    Dehydration can be common in the elderly. The elderly are more likely to lack proper hydration in warm-weather months and during illness. Medications and chronic medical conditions often increase the risk of dehydration.
  • Anemia
    Characterized by feelings of fatigue and/or anxiety, iron deficiency may be caused by low dietary intake, decreased absorption, too little vitamin C, or blood loss.

Good nutrition is vital to our longevity, and it can be hard to make sense of the various physiological changes that occur as we age. If you or a loved one is struggling with senior nutrition barriers, contact us today and we’ll help connect you with an experienced and professional caregiver

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