America’s Starving Seniors: Building Awareness For Better Senior Care Outcomes
New research by the National Council on Aging (NCOA) warns that malnutrition may be ‘hiding in plain sight’ for Katy seniors. But it’s 100% preventable with qualified senior care.
Today’s post sheds some light on the issue and explains how our senior care team lowers the number of “starving seniors” in Katy, Texas.
Malnutrition ‘hiding In Plain Sight’ In Katy Senior Care Settings
Malnutrition occurs across care settings, including:
- Hospitals. The Medicare-age population experiences a rate of hospitalization of 17.5% or 6.4 million per year, according to research by the Medical Care journal. A large body of scientific research has shown how unplanned hospitalization can be a “hazardous event for the older population” (Inouye et al., 2008, p. 726). Among these “hazards,” malnutrition ranks near the top. And if you’ve had any experience with hospital food, that probably doesn’t come as a big shock.If your loved one is already struggling to eat right, hospitalization only makes things harder. Research by the National Council on Aging (NCOA) estimates that up to two-thirds of patients who are admitted with malnourishment symptoms will experience a further decline in their nutritional status during their hospitalization.
- Nursing homes. After conducting an extensive meta-analysis in their 2015 report, researchers at the Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care journal figured the prevalence of senior malnutrition in nursing homes around 20%. Some estimates using looser definitions of “malnutrition” ranged as high as 66.5%.
- At home or in the community. The NCOA report cited earlier focuses particularly on the growing prevalence of malnutrition at home and in the community. Depression, loss of appetite, decreased mobility, chronic pain, and safety concerns were cited as some of the most common causes of malnutrition in the home senior care In some cases, “nutritional illiteracy” acted as a barrier.
Fighting Malnutrition With Cross-setting Senior Care In Katy
In the fight against senior malnutrition, building awareness is the first step. Knowing where senior malnutrition strikes–and how to spot the signs–is critical.
But once you’ve identified the problem, you still need to take action. Fortunately, the solution is simple, if a bit labor-intensive. For many families in SW Houston (Katy), Texas, it boils down to taking charge of their loved one’s grocery shopping, meal preparation, serving, and clean-up. There’s little risk of malnutrition for seniors getting three wholesome meals served to them every day. But that’s easier said than done, especially if you’re already stretched thin between work, family, and your existing senior care duties.
Don’t worry: our senior care team can help. Let us take charge of the meal planning and preparation so your visits can focus on quality time and memory making. Our senior care team can support your loved one in this way across all care settings, whether they’re in the hospital or living in a nursing home. Additionally, our senior care team gives you an extra set of eyes and ears to help spot early warning signs of malnutrition, like tiredness, irritability, feeling cold, longer healing time for wounds, and so on.
Free Senior Care Consultations In SW Houston (Katy), Texas
Call 281-231-2813 or visit our website to book a free senior care consultation with Always Best Care of Greater Fort Bend County & Katy, TX.
Bell, C. L., Lee, A. S., & Tamura, B. K. (2015). Malnutrition in the nursing home. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care, 18(1), 17-23. Retrieved from https://journals.lww.com/co-clinicalnutrition/Abstract/2015/01000/Malnutrition_in_the_nursing_home.5.aspx
Inouye, S. K., Zhang, Y., Jones, R. N., Shi, P., Cupples, L. A., Calderon, H. N., & Marcantonio, E. R. (2008). Risk factors for hospitalization among community-dwelling primary care older patients: development and validation of a predictive model. Medical Care, 46(7), 726. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2516963/pdf/nihms50512.pdf