While a number of health conditions seniors may face are well-known and often looked for by their caregivers, one that sometimes falls through the cracks is malnutrition.
Whether due to living alone, having financial issues, or any other reason, some seniors and older adults find themselves with major deficiencies in their diets, to the point that it negatively impacts other areas of their health and well-being.
In-Home Care Support
At Comfort Home Care, our home health services and senior care programs are ideal for a wide range of issues you or a loved one may be dealing with, including malnutrition. As a caregiver of a senior, what are some of the telltale signs that your loved one might be struggling with malnutrition?
Here are a few indicators to look out for.
Significant Weight Loss
One of the simplest and most common ways to tell if a senior is not eating enough, or not getting the proper nutrients, is if they experience sudden or significant weight loss. If you notice that your loved one has lost a lot of weight, and they don’t seem to be trying to lose weight on purpose, this can be a sign that something is off with their diet.
A Lack of Appetite
If your loved one generally has a good appetite but suddenly seems to have lost interest in food, or doesn’t seem as hungry as they used to be, this can also be an early sign of malnutrition. Often, a lack of appetite is one of the first things people experience when they’re not getting enough to eat or the right types of nutrients.
No Food in the House
Along similar lines, caregivers who visit their loved ones regularly may also notice that there’s no food in the house, or that the fridge and cupboards are bare. If your loved one is not able to get to the store on their own or has trouble cooking for themselves, this can lead to malnutrition if they’re not getting help with meals.
Especially among people who loved to cook for much of their lives, but may not be able to do so as easily now, a sudden change in cooking habits can also be indicative of malnutrition. If your loved one used to cook big meals regularly but now only prepares small meals for themselves, or stops cooking altogether, this may mean they’re not getting enough to eat.
Healing or Dental Issues
In other cases, people who are malnourished may also experience a range of other issues, such as slow healing times for wounds or cuts, gum disease, or tooth decay. This is often due to a lack of vitamins and minerals that are essential for proper healing, such as vitamin C.
If you’re worried that your loved one may be experiencing malnutrition, there’s a chance an in-home care program will be a helpful resource for you and your family. For more on this, or to learn about any of our senior in-home care services, speak to our team at Comfort Home Care today.