Signs of Malnutrition in Seniors

As caregivers, it’s imperative that our loved ones are always provided for. Thus, it’s important to be vigilant against the possibility of malnutrition. According to the Administration for Community Living, “it is estimated that over fifty percent of older Americans are malnourished.” 

One of the best ways to be an advocate and aid to your elderly loved one is to know the signs and signals of malnutrition and consider working with a nursing agency. The following article will explore four common signs that your loved one might not be receiving enough nourishment!

1. Sudden Weight Loss

An easy visual cue of malnutrition is a noticeable change in weight loss. If your loved one has not been eating, or simply not eating the correct things, it will show on their body. Be aware of any sudden drastic changes in weight, and be prepared to intervene!

2. Increased Muscle Weakness 

It’s common to have a minimal loss of strength with age, but an accelerated loss of strength can reveal something more sinister. If your loved one has found themselves unable to complete tasks, or has suffered a severe loss of muscle, this could be a sign that they are not receiving enough nutrients.

When the body is not properly fueled, cells have no choice but to cannibalize on themselves. This causes the visual and physical loss of muscle, and leads to the overall sense of weakness. 

3. Pronounced Feelings of Depression

If your loved one is continually in a state of malaise, they may be dealing with feelings of sadness caused by malnutrition. Believe it or not, what we eat can have a drastic effect on how we feel. 

Scientists have continually found that a balanced diet of legumes, leafy greens, and holistic ingredients can boost brain function and promote emotional wellness. Thus, if a senior citizen finds themselves in a state of prolonged melancholy, this might be a sign that they are missing some key nutrients in their diet. 

4. General Sense of Fatigue

A major signifier of senior citizens being undernourished is the feeling of fatigue. This commonly manifests in feelings of exhaustion at minor tasks. This symptom can be explained by a simple metaphor: the human body is a machine, it needs fuel to operate properly. Thus if your loved one is not receiving enough nutrients, they become like a car without gas. They slow down and feel too tired to do the daily tasks of life.