Nutrition

Nothing will ever prepare you when the time comes to caring for your parents. I used to think that it wouldn’t be so hard.

Boy! Was I so wrong!

It takes a toll on you from many different aspects : financially, emotionally, physically and mentally. Your parents will turn into “children” that you need to parent and this I speak from my own experience.

If you would like to read my personal story, please click this linkĀ My story : The unintended journey

As people get older, one of the important aspects is to continue choosing healthy foods and enjoying eating as a social activity. For people of all ages, especially the elderly, nutritional requirement is a must. Imbalance of nutrition in the elderly can occur due to either an excess or lack of nutrient consumption. This lack or excess consumption of nutrients is called malnutrition.

Malnutrition is increasingly becoming a very common health problem among the elderly population. Unfortunately, it has not received the importance it deserves.

Malnutrition can negatively impact the health of the elderly and hence, it is an important to address and resolve it as soon as it is identified. The negative impact of malnutrition include illness such as increased infection, electrolyte imbalances, altered skin integrity, anaemia, weakness, fatigue, longer stays in hospital, inability to perform regular activities, physical complications and death

Loss of appetite and unintentional weight loss are the main signs of malnutrition. Other signs may include dull and dry hair, dryness of the eye, receding gums, mental confusion, sensory loss and motor weakness. Malnutrition is prevalent in 5-10% of elderly people, majority of whom are hospitalised (about 60%) or long-term care facilities (35-85%) [Furman, 2006].