Malnutrition is a condition in which your senior isn't getting the nutrients that she needs to properly fuel her body. As a result, her immune system can suffer and she may lose muscle mass, which can lead to other problems.
Pay Attention to Weight Changes
One of the first signs that you might notice that your senior is having some sort of difficulty might be significant weight changes. The most common of those changes is that your elderly family member may lose a lot of weight. This is especially the case if she's hardly eating at all. If she's eating foods that aren't great for her, though, such as fast food or convenience foods, she may actually gain weight. But that extra weight doesn’t come from anything that's offering her nutritional value.
Check Her Refrigerator and Pantry When You Visit
You might want to take a quick look into your elderly family member's pantry and refrigerator the next time that you visit. What you're doing is gathering some preliminary information so that you know how to proceed. You might find that her cupboards are looking rather bare or that they're full of foods that she hasn't been known to eat before. Sit down and help her to map out where you can help her to make changes. It might mean that home care providers help her with bigger shopping trips or that you take over cooking for her.
Make Sure She's Hydrating
Another key component of making sure that your elderly family member is getting the nutrition that she needs is to ensure that she's getting plenty of fluids. Drinking water is the easiest way for her to hydrate, but she can also eat foods that are high in water content. Avoiding too much caffeine and sugar helps to make sure that she's not going too far in an unhealthy direction.
Talk with Her Doctor
Definitely make time to talk to your senior's doctor, too. He may want to run some blood tests or do other testing to see what nutrients your senior needs most right now. From there, he may recommend a diet that can help her to get back on track nutritionally.
The sooner you take action to help your elderly family member deal with her nutritional issues, the easier it will be to help her get healthier again.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care services in Papillion, NE, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors® Greater Omaha at (402) 215-0308 today.