Food and Nutrition for the elderly


As you grow old, your diet becomes thinner and fewer appetite. Elderly people tend to possess a disordered diet, as their interest within the diet itself diminishes, they skip meals more often, and that they still eat an equivalent food a day. By continuing such a diet for an extended time, they’re going to lack the nutrition necessary to stay their body healthy, and that they will fall under undernutrition.

Especially in recent years, the disorder of eating habits of elderly people living alone has become more serious. one among the characteristics of eating habits is “younger eating habits”. Elderly people living alone are more likely to be undernourished than those living with their families thanks to “lonely eating,” “menu bias,” and “irregularity,” which are almost like the eating habits of living alone in their 20s.

  • What is undernutrition?

“Undernutrition” may be a condition during which you are doing not have the quantity of nutrients you would like to measure healthy. The decrease in muscle strength and muscle mass with aging may be a natural senility phenomenon, but when “undernutrition” is added thereto, the condition progresses to ” frail ” and causes sarcopenia and locomotive syndrome. it’ll be an element. “Undernutrition” is considered one among the causes of elderly people requiring medical care and becoming bedridden.

  • Undernutrition factors

The factors that cause the elderly to become undernourished are as follows.

  1. Social factors

 Living alone

 Lack of long-term care, neglect

 Loneliness

 poverty

  1. Psychological and psychological factors

 Cognitive impairment

 Depression

 Fear of aspiration and suffocation

III. Disease factors

 Organ failure

 Inflammation, malignant neoplasm

 pain

 Oral problems like dentures

 Drug side effects

 Chewing and dysphagia

 Activities of daily living

 Digestive problems (diarrhea, constipation)

  1. Involvement of aging

 Smell and taste disorders

 Loss of appetite

  1. Other

 Problems with improper eating habits

 Misunderstanding about nutrition

 Wrong guidance of medical staff

  • Three indicators of undernutrition

The indicators want to determine undernutrition are:

  1. a) Change in weight

You can tell the degree of undernutrition by the numerical value of the load loss rate.

People who lose quite 3% of their weight within 1 to six months should take care.

How to find the load loss rate?

(Normal Weight-Current weight) ÷ Normal weight x 100

  1. b) BMI

BMI may be a body mass index that calculates the degree of obesity from height and weight.

How to find BMI?

BMI below 18.5 results in underweight, but older people are at increased risk of undernutrition when BMI falls below 20. However, when calculating the BMI of the elderly, it should be remembered that with age, the peak is shorter than in adolescence.

“Skinny desire” and undernutrition problems that spread to Japanese women

The tendency toward underweight is additionally common among middle-aged and elderly women, and therefore the proportion of underweight in adult women continues to extend year by year. It seems that there are many ladies who feel that they’re fat albeit they are doing not got to reduce. it’s thought that the background is that the tendency that “thinness” has been overly touted as an element that strengthens women’s “desire for thinness”. These extreme “desires for thinness” and “mindfulness for thinness” have an excellent impact on physical and psychological state.

Great care should be taken to not fall under malnutrition thanks to excessive diet or unbalanced diet.

  1. c) Serum albumin level

Serum albumin may be a sort of protein within the blood that accounts for about 60% of the entire protein, transports nutrients and metabolites, and maintains pressure. If albumin is below 3.5 g / dl as a result of a blood sampling test, undernutrition is suspected, but a decrease in albumin also can occur with high fever, inflammation, and other illnesses. Avoid assessing undernutrition based solely on albumin levels.

  • Undernutrition prevention and countermeasures

To prevent undernutrition, start by reviewing your diet.

 Three major nutrients

It is important to require in necessary nutrients during a well-balanced manner, including proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, which are called the three major nutrients. you’ll get an honest balance of nutrition just by eating a mixture of staple food, main dish and entremots.

 Incorporate snacks to extend the amount of meals

If you discover it difficult to eat multiple meals at just one occasion, you’ll adjust your nutritional intake by dividing one meal into two or by incorporating snacks. rather than sticking to 3 meals each day, attempt to get the nutrition you would like throughout the day.

 Let’s devise to form it easier to eat

As we age, our taste, chewing ability, and swallowing ability decline. Cut the ingredients into small pieces and cook until they’re soft enough to be crushed together with your tongue. Use potato starch or gelatin to thicken dishes and water. With these ideas, you’ll prevent aspiration and luxuriate in your meal.

 Recommendation of eating together

Eating with relatives and friends tends to extend the quantity of food you consume and increase your satisfaction together with your diet. Through eating behaviors like inviting people to eat and preparing in cooperation, they will feel the reference to society and cause physical and psychological state .

  • Dietary guidelines aimed toward preventing aging

 Eat well-balanced meals 3 times each day and never skip meals.

 Get enough animal protein.

 Take fish and meat at a ratio of 1: 1 in order that they’re not biased toward fish.

 Eat differing types and parts of meat.

 Be careful to not run out of fats and oils.

 Drink a minimum of 200 ml (1 bottle) of milk daily.

 Eat many sorts of vegetables, like green and yellow vegetables and root vegetables, and cook them over the warmth to extend their intake.


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