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During the senior years, proper nutrition is essential for staving off illness and helping a person’s body recover from injuries. However, the health and lifestyle changes many seniors experience can sometimes lead to malnutrition. Part of providing high-quality in-home care Grosse Pointe seniors can rely on means knowing how to recognize the warning signs of poor nutrition. This way, you can intervene before it leads to serious consequences for your elderly loved one’s health.
There are many reasons why seniors may lose their appetites, including medication side effects or depression. If your loved one seems to be eating less, then a visit to his or her doctor may be necessary to identify the underlying cause. The doctor may also recommend your loved one take an appetite stimulant.
Healthy foods provide the energy seniors need to go about their normal routines. If your loved one suddenly seems to lack the energy for his or her daily walk or seems to have difficulty with tasks that were once simple, he or she may not be eating enough nutritious foods to stay fueled and healthy. Encourage your loved one to drink more water, as this helps produce energy molecules.
Seniors with dementia may have trouble remembering when to eat, and having a Grosse Pointe dementia caregiver take over meal preparation could ensure they get the right amount of nutrition each day. However, it is also important to note seniors without dementia who suddenly show signs of memory loss may not be receiving the vitamins and minerals they need to promote cognition.
If your loved one does not eat at regular times, he or she may experience fluctuations in blood sugar levels. This is especially common if a senior has diabetes. Feeling dizzy, trembling, or losing balance are signs your loved one’s eating habits should be carefully assessed.
The effects of many nutritional deficiencies often show up first around the mouth. For example, seniors who are not receiving enough B vitamins often display cracking around their lips or swollen tongues, and complain of a burning sensation in their mouths. The discomfort of these maladies can further cause your loved one to avoid eating, which makes it critical to have these symptoms addressed by a physician.
Learning more about senior nutrition and healthy eating can help you provide the best care possible for your loved one. If you have questions regarding these topics, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers are available to assist with a variety of daily tasks to help boost your loved one’s health such as grocery shopping and meal prep. For seniors who need more comprehensive care, we also offer specialized Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and stroke care Grosse Pointe families trust. To schedule a free in-home consultation, please call one of our experienced Care Managers at 313.343.6444 today.