Good nutrition is critical to the elderly, yet many older adults are at risk of malnutrition. Knowing the causes and signs of nutrition problems in the elderly, as well as steps you can take to ensure nutrient filled diets, will help to prevent the elderly from becoming undernourished.
What is Malnutrition?
Malnutrition is the condition that occurs when the body does not get enough nutrients. Malnutrition is most prevalent in the elderly over the age of 65. It is said that each year between 2,000 and 3,500 elderly die from being malnourished.
One study showed that nursing home patients had a significantly higher death rate in the first six months after losing 10 percent of their body weight. Another study showed that elderly patients living in long term care facilities who lost 5 percent of their body weight in one month were found to be four times more likely to die within one year.
Many elderly are malnourished because they have no appetite from medication they take and trouble digesting food due to age. Dental issues may also be a problem, which makes it hard to chew food.
The symptoms of Malnutrition vary depending on what is causing the elderly to be malnourished. Common symptoms of Malnutrition are: fatigue, dizziness and weight loss.
Malnutrition can lead to many health problems in the elderly including: fatigue, depression, weak immune system, anemia ( too few red blood cells), muscle weakness (leads to fall and fractures), digestive problems, lung and heart problems, poor skin integrity.
A loss of around 5 to 10 percent of body weight in 1 to 12 months may indicate a problem in an elderly person. This drastic weight loss should not be seen as a normal part of the aging process.
How Peck Law Can Help
If someone you know in a care facility appears to be malnourished, report it immediately to their caretaking agency/facility, and document any such conversation with that agency/facility. Contact Peck Law Group with concerns, questions and for more information about action you can take.
Peck Law Group offices are located in Van Nuys and Pleasant Hill, California. Our attorneys serve clients in Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley, Orange County, Riverside, Ontario, San Bernardino, San Diego, Oakland, the San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento, and all other regions of California. How can we help you? Call toll free at (866) 999-9085 to contact us today for a free consultation.