Malnutrition may not be something that you can pinpoint quickly with your aging adult, particularly if she’s trying to hide the signs from you. Learning what to watch for can help you to spot signs of trouble much more quickly.
Check Her Eating Habits
Start eating a few more meals with your aging adult. During these meals, you can start to observe how she’s eating. If she’s relying on convenience foods or processed meals, you can spot that sort of thing right away. If she pushes her food around or tries to make it appear as if she’s eating more than she is, your aging family member may have other issues to sort through.
Verify Whether She’s Losing Weight
One big sign of malnutrition is that your aging adult starts to lose weight without even trying. This happens because she’s usually losing muscle mass that she can’t afford to lose. Work with your elderly family member’s doctor to determine her ideal weight and learn how to monitor her weight at home. If your senior isn’t interested in participating in this, you can use other cues, such as how her clothing fits, to get an idea whether she’s losing weight.
Pay Attention to Medications
For some aging adults, medications can affect whether she has an appetite at all and how well her body can digest the food that she’s eating. In some cases, your senior may actually be eating healthy food choices, but her medication is throwing a wrench in the works. Work with her doctor to determine if this is the case with your senior.
Look for Other Signs
There may be other signs that can let you know how well-nourished your aging adult is, too. If she’s sick often, for example, then her immune system may be compromised due to poor nutrition. She may also be feeling weak more often than not, which can be an indication that her blood sugar levels are too low. If you’re noticing these sorts of signs, you need to mention them to her doctor right away.
Consider hiring elder care providers to help you gather information if you’re still in doubt. They’re experienced at recognizing the signs of malnutrition in the elderly and they can help you to find the right solutions.
Excerpt: Malnutrition may not always be easy to spot, particularly if you and your senior don’t eat together often. Here are some of the ways that you can figure out what is going on.