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Recognizing the Warning Signs of Poor Nutrition

By Nick Paciello, 9:00 am on

Seniors have one of the highest rates of nutritional deficiency when compared to other age groups. This can be related to difficulty preparing food, lack of appetite, depression, physical illness, or a number of other conditions. When providing Henderson home care for your elderly loved one, here are some signs to look for to ensure he or she isn’t lacking proper nutrition. 

Slow Wound Healing

When your loved one is ill or injured, recovery can take a great deal longer or not happen at all if he or she isn’t getting the necessary nutrients to heal. The healing
process can be slowed due to not getting enough protein in the diet. Encourage your loved one to eat more lean meats or tofu, both of which are great sources of protein.

Rapid Weight Loss

If your loved one has lost a substantial amount of weight in a short period of time, it may be because of poor nutrition. After ensuring your loved one doesn’t have an underlying medical condition that prevents healing, turn your attention to making sure his or her diet is providing enough calories. Your loved one can choose full-fat dairy products such as yogurt or vitamin D milk, both of which offer many nutritional benefits. Fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables can also be great choices to help maintain a healthy weight. Consider making an appointment for you and your loved one to visit a nutritionist or dietician for customized help.

Reduced Attention Span & Memory

Not having enough nutrients can impact how your loved one’s brain functions, including a lack of focus and not remembering things well. If you find your loved one is forgetting things often or isn’t able to focus, look at his or her diet and try to include brain-boosting foods such as simple carbs, green tea, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Excessive Fatigue

While it is normal for seniors to get worn out more easily than in their younger years, you may have noticed your loved one is more fatigued than usual. If your loved one reports sleeping well, but too frequently, and he or she is not depressed, poor nutrition could be the culprit. Lack of proper nutrition keeps the body from getting the necessary amount of fuel, resulting in tiredness even after plenty of sleep. Your loved one can look into healthy sources of caffeine such as dark chocolate and green tea, but overall nutrition should be the focus. Ensure your loved one is getting his or her dietary needs met from each food group, including healthy carbs, meats, dairy, fruits and veggies, and healthful fats and oils.

Making sure your loved one follows a nutritious diet can help prevent serious health conditions down the line. A professional caregiver from Home Care Assistance can also assist with his or her dietary needs. Our caregivers can help your loved one maintain proper nutrition by helping with grocery shopping and meal preparation, and can also assist with many other important daily tasks. For more information on part-time and live-in care Henderson families trust, call one of our qualified Care Managers at (702) 527-7723 today.