Staying at home more often, whether it’s because of the COVID-19 pandemic or other reasons, can present unexpected issues for seniors. Not going to the grocery store as much could lead to dietary concerns and neglecting healthy habits. And poor nutrition habits can weaken a senior’s immune system at the same time, according to Harvard T.H. Chan Public School of Health. When providing senior care, it’s important to ensure your loved one has the food and beverages they need to be as healthy as possible. And it’s equally important to look out for potential signs they may be experiencing health problems due to malnutrition. Here are three of the most common causes of malnutrition in seniors to watch out for.
Seniors living at home may not feel the need to cook for themselves every night, and don’t necessarily want to invite anyone over for dinner or go to restaurants for various reasons. The result is often picking up fast food more often and eating processed foods, frozen dinners, and other items with very little nutritional value. If a senior loved one indicates their diet consists of these types of foods, consider taking them some nutritious meals or doing some grocery shopping for them, so they get the proper nutrition needed to stay healthy.
Physical problems could be another cause of malnutrition for seniors living at home. The inability to stand for long periods to cook may cause them not to cook at all. And conditions like arthritis can make simple tasks like cutting fruits and vegetables painful, so they may be skipping those items in favor of other unhealthy options. Your senior loved one may have good intentions on eating nutritious meals but are unable to because of painful or nagging physical issues.
A common concern for seniors living at home is their psychological well-being. Being isolated from others or experiencing devastating events in their life could lead to depression, feelings of loneliness, grief, stress, or anxiety. These types of feelings often lead to not sticking with healthy habits and grabbing comfort foods instead. Eating foods high in fat or loaded with sugar are common actions for people with psychological concerns. And some people lose their appetite completely, which can also lead to malnutrition in seniors.
Next Day Access wants to help make life easier for seniors living at home. We understand physical limitations can be causes for concern and significantly limit a senior’s lifestyle. Not being able to go up the stairs easily can make a senior feel limited in their own home, but we have tools and products to help make their home more accessible. There are many different factors to look at when providing senior care to a loved one to ensure they are taken care of as much as possible. Don’t hesitate to contact us at any time if there is anything we can do to help improve mobility in your senior loved one’s home.