Malnutrition in older adults can lead to various health concerns, including:
The main consequences of malnutrition are: Fatigue and lethargy. Falls. Difficulty coughing, which increases the risk of chest infection.
Good nutrition is important, no matter what your age. It gives you energy and can help you control your weight. It may also help prevent some diseases, such as osteoporosis, high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers.
Physiological Changes Gastric emptying slows with aging with a potential detrimental effect on appetite. All of these factors, independently or collectively, can lead to a reduction in food intake . As we age body composition changes—fat mass increases and lean body mass (muscle) decreases (sarcopenia).
Several things might contribute to malnutrition in the elderly, including swallowing difficulties, poor dentition (such as having missing teeth), mobility issues, acute and chronic illnesses, and not meeting changing nutrient demands – such as not getting enough protein.
In the short term, poor nutrition can contribute to stress, tiredness and our capacity to work, and over time, it can contribute to the risk of developing some illnesses and other health problems such as: being overweight or obese. tooth decay. high blood pressure.
The problems affect many people, but older people are more at risk due to factors affecting many in later life, including physiological changes, poor appetite, low income, practical difficulties in shopping and cooking, poorer mental and oral health, acute or chronic illness and social isolation.
Nutrition Level. Nutrition is closely associated with skin health and is required for all biological processes of skin from youth to aging or disease. Nutrition levels and eating habits can repair damaged skin and can also cause damage to the skin.
As we get older our bodies have different needs, so certain nutrients become especially important for good health.
Some of the most notable physical changes in older adults that affect their nutritional needs include: slower metabolism. declining appetite. less lean body mass.
The good news is that many of the factors that affect an older person’s nutrition don’t have to impact health and longevity.
Biological factors include age, gender, growth, disease states, and genetic makeup. Among the nonbiological factors, socio-economic status is the most important. Poverty is one of the major socio-economic causes of variation in nutrient intake, and it also impacts nutrient requirements.
A geriatric nutritional assessment is complicated by multi-morbidity, injuries, and disabilities in combination with nutrition-related problems such as dysphagia, decreased appetite, fatigue, and muscle weakness.
Important risk nutrients include protein; omega-3 fatty acids; dietary fiber; vitamins B6, B12, and E; calcium; magnesium; and potassium. Many older adults are not getting enough of these nutrients. On the other hand, too many older adults are getting too much folate and sodium.