Four Possible Consequences of Malnutrition for Seniors
If you suspect that your aging family member is malnourished, make sure to talk with her doctor to set up a plan to assess what nutrients she needs and how to best get them into her daily diet. Ignoring nutrition needs can seriously impact your senior’s health and may make it more difficult for her to meet her own goals as she ages.
Decreased Muscle Strength
As your senior ages, she is more likely to lose muscle tone and strength. If she’s not getting the nutrients that her body needs, that decrease in muscle strength is likely to occur much more quickly. Losing muscle strength can also mean that your elderly family member is not able to maintain mobility and that becomes a huge safety problem.
Increased Fall Risk
Another big problem with losing muscle tone is that it can increase your senior’s risk of falling. Other factors can contribute as well, though. Low blood sugar, low blood pressure, and more can all be contributing factors to increasing your senior’s fall risk. Falling even one time can have serious health consequences for your elderly family member for a very long time to come.
Your senior’s immune system requires nutrients in order to maintain itself. To reduce the risk of illness, infection, and other health problems, your senior’s immune system need to be able to keep itself running. If you’re noticing that your elderly family member is frequently ill or is having a more difficult time healing in general, it might be due to poor nutrition.
Increased Likelihood of Hospitalization
Malnutrition can also increase the risk of your senior ending up hospitalized, either due to a fall or due to another health issue. Aging adults hospitalized may be more likely to become even weaker, lose more muscle tone, and suffer further attacks on their immune system. In short, that makes all of the other consequences even worse for your senior.
Keeping your senior well nourished is absolutely vital, but it can feel complicated. Working with senior home care providers can help, because they’re able to be there with your senior and help to monitor what and when she’s eating. If your senior needs physical help eating, elder care providers can offer that assistance. Even if all that your elderly family member needs is for senior home care providers to cook for her, that can go a long way toward improving her nutritional intake.