What Are the Signs of Nutritional Deficiency in Aging Adults?

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Warning Signs of Poor Nutrition in Seniors in Portland, ME

Seniors have one of the highest rates of nutritional deficiency when compared to other age groups. This can be related to difficulty preparing food, lack of appetite, depression, physical illness, or a number of other conditions. When providing care for your elderly loved one, here are some signs to look for to ensure he or she isn’t lacking proper nutrition.

Slow Wound Healing

When your loved one is ill or injured, recovery can take a great deal longer or not happen at all if he or she isn’t getting the nutrients necessary to heal. The healing process can be slowed due to a lack of sufficient protein in the diet. Encourage your loved one to eat more lean meats or tofu, both of which are great sources of protein. 

Rapid Weight Loss

If your loved one has lost a substantial amount of weight in a short time, it may be because of poor nutrition. After ensuring your loved one doesn’t have an underlying medical condition, turn your attention to making sure his or her diet is providing enough calories. Your loved one can eat full-fat dairy products such as yogurt and vitamin D–fortified milk, both of which offer many nutritional benefits. Fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables can also be great choices for maintaining a healthy weight. Consider making an appointment for your loved one to visit a nutritionist or dietician for customized help. 

If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Align Home Care Services, a trusted provider of at-home care. Our caregivers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping.

Reduced Attention Span & Memory

Not getting enough nutrients can have a negative impact on how your loved one’s brain functions, including a lack of focus and not remembering things well. If you find your loved one is forgetting things often or isn’t able to focus, look at his or her diet and try to include brain-boosting items such as simple carbs, green tea, and omega-3 fatty acids. 

Making sure your loved one gets proper nutrition every day can be challenging. If you’re the primary caregiver for a senior family member and you need respite care, Portland, ME, Align Home Care is here to help. Our respite caregivers are trained to assist older adults with a wide variety of everyday tasks, including meal prep, physical activity, and personal hygiene. We also provide 24-hour care and specialized care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.

Excessive Fatigue

While it’s normal for seniors to get worn out more easily than they did in their younger years, you may have noticed your loved one is more fatigued than usual. If your loved one reports sleeping well but too frequently and he or she isn’t depressed, poor nutrition could be the culprit. 

Lack of proper nutrition keeps the body from getting the necessary amount of fuel, resulting in tiredness even after plenty of sleep. Your loved one can look into healthy sources of caffeine, such as dark chocolate and green tea, but overall nutrition should be the focus. Ensure your loved one is getting his or her dietary needs met by eating items from each food group, including healthy carbs, meats, dairy, fruits and veggies, and healthful fats and oils. 

Professional caregivers can help seniors get the nutrition they need by assisting with tasks such as meal prep and grocery shopping. When considering homecare services, Portland, ME, families should make sure their senior loved ones have the resources they need to maintain their independence and remain healthy. Trusted in-home care professionals can assist seniors with daily tasks like cooking, bathing, and exercise, and they can also encourage them to focus on healthier lifestyle habits. Align Home Care will work with you to customize a care plan that’s just right for your loved one’s needs. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (207) 835-3490 to learn more about our high-quality care plans.


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