Malnutrition is a relatively common problem in elderly individuals living independently at home, because fresh wholesome foods may not be readily available or easy to prepare. If you have an elderly relative living on his or her own, you should look out for these potential signs of malnutrition.
When a person is not eating balanced meals with fresh fruits and vitamin-rich vegetables, he or she may have immune system deficiencies that cause regular illnesses. Your loved one may frequently catch colds or infections, or he or she might experience symptoms that result from a single-nutrient deficiency such as muscle soreness from a lack of iron in the blood.
Changes in physical appearance
Your loved one may inexplicably lose weight, appear pale or have dry skin and hair. You might also notice that wounds are slow to heal, so pay close attention to even seemingly minor cuts and injuries.
While it is common for elderly individuals to lose some of their strength and vitality, it is cause for concern if your loved one has regular difficulty completing daily activities or moving around the house. Malnutrition can lead to bone loss and muscle weakness, which will both dramatically increase the risk for slip and fall injuries in the home. Plus, muscle weakness may prevent your loved one from preparing meals, thus further perpetuating the problem of inadequate nutrition.
With help from Assisting Hands Home Care, your elderly loved one can rest easy with daily prepared meals, companionship and other non-medical home care services. To schedule an in-home consultation with an Assisting Hands Home Care professional, visit their website or call 630-305-9100.