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West Philly Families: How to Manage Malnutrition in Senior Loved Ones

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We care the most for our senior loved ones. Wanting them to live a comfortable life is the end goal, but sometimes life has different plans. Malnutrition is a condition that occurs due to a lack of sufficient nutrition for the body and is easily fatal.

The underlying cause could be aging, medicine, diet, or mental health. However, one common reason for malnutrition in senior loved ones is lack of overall care and attention and they deserve the utmost of both. For seniors who are suffering from or at risk of malnutrition, there are ways to manage and prevent it.

Preventing Malnutrition

The unfortunate truth is that over 39% of hospitalized elders are malnourished, and it’s estimated that up to one in two senior citizens are malnourished. Malnutrition is a very common condition among seniors, and over 2000 older adults die from malnutrition each year.

To prevent malnutrition among our senior loved ones, caregivers can start by monitoring their dietary intake and health, and taking the preemptive steps to notice symptoms. Symptoms of malnutrition include a weak immune system, poor wound healing, muscle weakness, loss of weight, sunken eyes and cheeks, pale complexion, lack of appetite, depression, dyspnea, and drowsiness.

When preventing malnutrition, it’s important to monitor the dietary needs of our seniors and guarantee that they’re eating nutritious foods such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fish, and lean meats. Nutritional supplements are also easy ways to increase and maintain calorie intake. Monitoring weight, keeping track of health and habits, and encouraging physical activity are other methods of preventing the risk of malnutrition.

Managing Malnutrition

For seniors who are suffering from malnutrition, the first rule of thumb is to avoid intaking large amounts of nourishment, as it can provoke refeeding syndrome. Refeeding syndrome is potentially fatal due to the sudden shift in fluids and electrolytes from a malnourished person receiving artificial refeeding. Malnourished patients have their metabolic systems shut off; they have no acid and proteolytic enzymes to properly digest food, their livers don’t have the metabolic requirements to process nutrients, their intestines are weak, and so forth.

For seniors who are suffering from malnutrition, it’s best to receive immediate medical attention. By receiving it, their health will consistently be monitored.  Likewise, healthcare professionals will ensure to take the necessary actions to increase their nourishment and prevent future malnutrition. To manage malnutrition, start by gradually refeeding the senior, giving them small daily meals, and ensuring they’re hydrated. Seniors should slowly begin to receive nutrients and calories, eventually leading to when they can eat without causing metabolic disturbances. It could take months (or never at all) until a person can receive a normal dietary intake.

Senior Home Care Can Assist in Preventing Malnutrition

Senior care services are a great way to help our senior loved ones receive undivided attention and care. Likewise,  professional caregivers will ensure to properly manage seniors’ health and dietary needs. By hiring a senior home care service, your seniors can live a comfortable life without the fear of malnutrition.

Dedicated caregivers can do their part to prevent malnutrition. For example, they do this by creating balanced and nutritional meals for seniors and keeping track of their dietary intake. Caregivers will thoroughly monitor a senior’s health. In other words, caregivers will ensure to keep up with their weight, medications, and habits. In a nutshell, caregivers can provide seniors with the undivided attention and care they deserve.

A Better Solution Can Help

Do you know a senior who is suffering from or at risk of malnutrition? A Better Solution (ABS) is here to provide Pennsylvania senior care that treats and prevents the condition. Our caregivers have the experience to match the needs of each senior loved one. With over 18 years of service, we have accommodated hundreds of seniors. For families looking for PA senior care, visit us at https://www.absihc.com/ or contact us at info@absihc.com to receive quality senior care.

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