Risks for Malnutrition

Elderly people most at risk of developing malnutrition are those who eat little because of poverty, disability resulting from chronic geriatric disease, or a combination of these factors. Malnutrition is found in elderly people living in their homes if they are indigent, isolated, or homebound because of their own disability or the serious illness of their partner. Ten main risk factors for noninstitutional-ized elderly can easily be identified and acted on by nonmedical personnel (Table 1). It must be understood that each risk in Table 1 is only a potential

Table 1 Early warning signs for malnourishment

Medical and physiological factors

Recent unintended weight change of approximately

>5% in the preceding month Disease, polypharmacy or long-term medication Immobility

High alcohol consumption Psychological factors

Bereavement and/or depression or loneliness

Mental confusion

Poor nutrional knowledge

Socioenvironmental factors

Lack of sunlight Low budget for food Missed meals or snacks danger sign; each has to be considered in relation to others. It should be stressed, however, that malnutrition is much more common in the elderly in long-term care, especially those who are unable to feed themselves.

Alcohol No More

Alcohol No More

Do you love a drink from time to time? A lot of us do, often when socializing with acquaintances and loved ones. Drinking may be beneficial or harmful, depending upon your age and health status, and, naturally, how much you drink.

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