Approximately 9 percent of elderly adults are food insecure. This means that they do not have consistent and reliable access to the nutrition that their body needs to function properly and thrive. Even more face periodic limited access to nutrition or do not get the nutrition that they need on a regular basis. This can lead to a wide variety of challenges and complications, including health problems, reduced resistance to illness and infection, increased risk for depression, and diminished quality of life. As a family caregiver it is extremely important that you are able to detect possible malnourishment so that you can take steps to help your parent overcome these issues and get the nutrition that they need.
Some of the signs and symptoms of malnourishment that you should look out for in your aging loved one include:
• Changes in their eating habits or becoming increasingly “picky” about their eating
• Marked weight loss, which might appear as their clothing fitting loosely, their body feeling smaller or more frail when you hug them, or their skin hanging more loosely
• Wounds that do not heal as quickly as they should
• Easier bruising
• Increased dental problems
• Increased frequency of infections and illnesses such as the flu or colds
If you feel that your elderly parent might be suffering from malnourishment, do not hesitate to get in touch with their doctor to discuss your concerns. They can identify if your senior is truly not getting the nutrition that they need, and can give recommendations for how you can boost their nutrition and help them stay healthier throughout their later years.
If you are concerned about your aging parent’s nutrition and feel that they would benefit from additional care and support to make sure they get what their body needs, starting senior care for them might be the ideal solution. Because the signs and symptoms of senior hunger can be subtle, it can be easy for you as a family caregiver to miss them, especially if you care for your parent from a distance or are a multigenerational caregiver and are not able to spend as much time with your parent as you would like to. A senior home care services provider can be with your aging loved one on a schedule that is customized to their specific needs. This means that they are available to recognize the challenges that they have that might prevent them from getting the nutrition that they need and offer support and encouragement to overcome these issues on a regular basis. They can also help your loved one to understand what their doctor has said about their nutritional needs and what keeps them from getting what they need, then encourage them to make the lifestyle choices that will keep them at their best. This can include providing safe and reliable transportation to the grocery store to keep their kitchen properly stocked, assisting them with meal preparation and snacks to keep their nutrition balanced and help them overcome challenges that prevent them from cooking, and even eat with them to encourage better choices.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED ONE ARE CONSIDERING IN-HOME SENIOR CARE IN SUMMERLIN, NV, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT GOLDEN HEART SENIOR CARE. CALL TODAY 702-800-4616.