Malnutrition is one of the biggest problems amongst the elderly as the American population ages. It is essential for adults advancing in age to get the nutrients their body needs to stay strong and healthy, especially for those that have pre-existing health conditions like a chronic disease or sickness. Here at Rittenhouse Village At Portage, we ensure that our meals served in the senior living community are nutrient-dense so that our residents remain healthy and strong. Read on to find out more about malnutrition and how to prevent it.
What is Malnutrition?
Malnutrition occurs when the human body gets insufficient nutrients and vitamins from the food they consume. As the food that the elderly consume give their bodies the energy to function, the lack of nutrition could significantly impact their bodily functions. Nutrients are important to help the body grow and recover and helps to regulate essential functions such as the heartbeat and breathing.
Malnutrition could cause other health issues, such as fatigue, depression, muscle weakness, brittle bones, anemia, weak immune systems, problems with memory, weight loss, and more.
Encourage Healthy Food Choices
The most straightforward way to prevent malnutrition in the elderly is to ensure that they are eating well and have food choices that are densely packed with nutrients. This includes food like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean meats, and more. The elderly should also refrain from having too much unhealthy food, and limit the intake of salt, sugar, fats, and alcohol.
Prepare Healthy Snacks
Healthy snacks are another way to help the elderly get extra calories and nutrients whenever they feel hungry. As they age, their appetite may decrease, resulting in them eating less during mealtimes. However, this could also mean they get hungry in between meals. Healthy snacks are a great way to keep them satisfied while ensuring they get more nutrients.
If it is not sufficient to depend on the food that the elderly consumes, they may also consider taking supplements for that extra vitamin boost. Before taking any vitamins, a doctor or healthcare professional should be consulted first.
Exercise can help to keep the elderly healthy by stimulating their bones and muscles. It can also help to improve their appetite, allowing them to consume more nutrient-rich foods.
Talk to Your Senior Living Community
If you have an elderly loved one who stays in a senior living community, let the staff know about your specific concerns with your loved one staying there, and ask them about the meals they provide and the activities they organize. They can also contribute to crafting a nutrition plan to ensure your loved one stays healthy.
If you are thinking about looking for a senior living community for your loved one or yourself, feel free to check out Rittenhouse Village At Portage. We do our best to ensure that all our residents are happy and healthy and provide nutritious meals and activities to help our residents live life to the fullest. Feel free to contact us to find out more today!