Malnutrition affects so many seniors. It’s not just about not eating. Sometimes the problem is eating unhealthy food choices, simply because it’s too difficult to do anything else. Solutions like bringing in 24-hour home care providers can help, as can addressing the health conditions themselves with the help of your senior’s doctor.
24-hour home care providers can watch out for these health issues:
Mobility Problems and Concerns
Issues with mobility, ranging from arthritis pain to difficulty walking, causes huge issues around eating, although you might not think about it that way. When your elderly family member has a tough time getting around, going to the grocery store is difficult enough, but then bringing groceries home and cooking can also be incredibly difficult. It’s often easier to order in or to stick with pre-packaged foods that are simple to reheat. Those often don’t have the nutrients your senior needs, though.
Cognitive illnesses that affect your senior’s ability to make decisions and to remember when she last ate can really interfere with her ability to feed herself healthy foods. Your senior may believe she ate already or because of her cognitive illness she may have trouble choosing foods that have the nutrients that she needs. Malnutrition often makes those cognitive challenges even worse.
Dental Health Issues
What your senior can eat may be limited by the health of her teeth and mouth. If your senior isn’t able to chew her food, she may find that she opts for less healthy foods that are easier to eat. Some dental health issues may cause her to avoid eating altogether.
Heart and Lung Illnesses
Illnesses like COPD or high blood pressure can cause your elderly family member to need more of certain nutrients. In the case of COPD, getting even enough calories can feel impossible. It’s not just about eating the right mix of foods, but sometimes being able to eat at all that becomes the challenge.
If your aging family member is dealing with illnesses that affect things like her blood sugar levels or her body’s ability to use insulin, malnutrition can also be a serious concern. Getting too much of some macronutrients can throw off the delicate balance in your senior’s body, making it tough for her to keep certain health issues under even moderate control.
Having 24-Hour Home Care Services to Assist
Having help with all of the tasks around food can be a way to help your elderly family member to avoid malnutrition. 24-hour home care providers are able to take on the heavy lifting part of food preparation and ensure that your senior is getting the nourishment that she needs. 24-hour home care providers are also able to help you know when your senior is having more difficulty around eating.