Many people are picky eaters. As we age, our appetites can change, and age-related issues may make eating properly or getting out to buy healthy food difficult. However, not eating properly or losing weight without trying may be a sign of failure to thrive in an older adult.
Identifying & Treating the Issue
Because decline in nutrition is gradual and not something family members may notice on a day-to-day basis, loved ones often fail to realize that nutrition is an issue. According to Aging Well magazine, “Nutritional status has a significant impact on an elder’s ability to recover and rehabilitate from illness, injury, or surgery. Malnourished older adults have diminished muscle strength, which can lead to weakness, decreased independence, and falls. They may recover more slowly from illness or acute episodes or experience unintended weight loss, increased risk of pressure ulcers, poor healing rates, anemia, fatigue, susceptibility to infection due to immune dysfunction, and ultimately increased morbidity and mortality.”
In-home caregivers can monitor food intake and ensure your loved one is eating regular nutritious meals. Caregivers can also assist with meals and diet in other ways, including:
- Grocery shopping, planning and preparing nutritious, diet-specific meals
- Education for the older adult about proper diet and nutrition to maintain maximum health
- Being a companion to enjoy meals with rather than eating alone
For further information on geriatric failure to thrive, click here.
At Live Free Home Health Care, we are skilled at helping seniors receive the nutrition and care they need so they can remain healthy and happy at home. Contact us today to learn more about our in-home care services and how we can help your loved one thrive.