Many factors contribute to seniors’ malnutrition, from financial limitations to social and psychological issues. In order to age well and have a good quality of life, the elderly need to take care of the food they eat. It needs to be a balanced diet that will satisfy all of their needs.
10 Causes of Senior Malnutrition
- Physical impairment, or another limitation that renders seniors unable to go shopping for groceries, to prepare food for themselves, or to consume dishes they make.
- Many older adults live on a fixed income. Some of them just don’t have enough funds to buy the food they need to eat regularly.
- In the case of some diseases, such as Parkinson’s, elderly adults are often unable to chew and swallow food. Due to medications, they may have dry mouth or other dental conditions which create problems for them while trying to consume food.
- Elderly who have severe illnesses often lose muscle and fat, which alters body chemistry and diminishes appetite.
- Some drugs, such as antidepressants, or some blood pressure and osteoporosis medications can cause appetite loss.
- One of the issues that come with aging is the reduced absorption of nutrients. With old age, the parts of the body that produce digestive enzymes and acids weaken, and they can’t absorb vitamins, minerals, proteins, folate, calcium, and iron as they used to. All of this causes elderly people to lose their appetite.
- In their golden age, some seniors lose their sense of smell. This reduces part of the pleasure which exists while eating.
- Some seniors that have dementia often lose the sense of a need to eat.
- Depression is one of the leading causes of appetite loss.
- Alcoholism, which is also considered a disease, but it is often overlooked, also decreases appetite.
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