elderly-malnutritionMalnutrition is a major concern for the elderly.

 

Once we are born, we are all in the aging process. The 2 most critical and difficult periods of the aging process are early childhood and the elderly period. Getting your life started right as a baby and as a child affects the rest of your life. We are always aging but when you get closer to the end of your life the family dynamics of your care can be much more complicated.

I’ve read recently that one out of every four elderly is suffering in some way because of malnutrition. Why is this? What type of suffering? What can be done about this problem?

The issue of proper nutrition for the elderly has been a huge part of our lives for many years. My mom-in-law recently passed away at the age of 97 ½ years. My own mother is 93 ½ years old. My older brother is not what I consider elderly but is a widowed senior citizen living alone. My husband and I are at what I refer to as the youth of old age… we are in our early 70’s. We realize more than ever the importance of a healthy lifestyle.

Recently a grandchild contacted me with concern about her grandpa. Her concern is that he might not be getting his daily nutritional needs met. Just a couple months ago my brother and I were discussing his eating habits and the fact that he does not always eat properly. Those 2 incidents triggered my inspiration to write this blog.

elderly-95yearsWhy is malnutrition a problem in the elderly?

  • Living alone can cause a person to not want to bother with cooking and creating a mess. They justify eating quick, easy food that requires little preparation. That means pre-prepared meals or packaged foods that can be warmed up in the microwave. This is the reality for my brother. How real is that food and how much does microwaving chemically change the nutrients in food?
  • Mental decline can lead to confusion about how to eat a balanced meal. My own Grandpa was living alone until one of my aunts just happened to visit prior to meal time. My Grandpa was heating the dishwater to eat as soup. That was in the years prior to microwaves and dishwashers.
  • Lack of knowledge about how to properly prepare food can be a problem for some people.
  • Too many medications can cause problems with nutrient utilization. Medications can cause loss of appetite, reduced taste and smell, constipation, nausea, drowsiness, confusion and other issues that can affect normal healthy eating habits.
  • Dependency on other people can lead to malnutrition in some cases. Giving a nursing care facility total charge of my mother-in-law’s nutritional needs was a very difficult thing for me to do. She was given plain white refined bread with every meal instead of the sprouted grain bread we used to purchase for her. The vegetables were in the form of overcooked and iceberg lettuce with 3 or 4 little pieces of tomato. I knew that her chronic constipation problem was going to be made worse with just those 2 changes in her diet.
  • Disabilities and low energy levels often make it difficult to prepare healthy food. Those with functional impairments may be unable to shop for groceries or cook for themselves. This is especially true for those who live alone.
  • Lack of money or the perception of not enough money to pay for food can be a cause of malnutrition in the elderly. The cost of living has risen in all areas causing people to cut back on what they spend at the grocery store. This can lead to poor food choices. (Actually it really does not cost as much to eat healthy when you plan properly.)
  • Another common problem with many elderly is that they have lost all or most of their natural teeth. This presents chewing and swallowing problems which can lead to malnutrition. Their selection of foods is more limited.

What type of health issues can be caused by malnutrition?

  • A weakened immune system and slowed healing of wounds can lead to the risk of more infections.
  • Muscle weakness and loss of balance can cause more falls and possible bone fractures.
  • A loss of appetite leads to a disinterest in eating thus worsening the problem.
  • Digestive problems such as bloating, gas, diarrhea and constipation easily become major problems.
  • Impaired cardiac, respiratory, and kidney function can lead to complicated health issues.
  • Depression and impaired mental function are aggravated by malnutrition.
  • Unusual weight loss is one of the first signs that may indicate there may be a problem with malnutrition
  • Dehydration can cause numerous health problems such as confusion, poor kidney function, constipation, dizziness, and lowered energy levels.

chain-of-lifeWhat can be done to prevent malnutrition for your elderly mother, father, grandmother, grandpa, aunt, uncle, or other family or friend?

  • Be aware. Be alert to any unusual changes in their health or behavior.

  • Educate yourself about any particular health issues experienced by your loved ones.

  • Learn about common or expected side effects of medications.

  • Protein is quite important in preventing malnutrition. It provides energy, prevents muscle loss, and contributes to a healthy metabolism. Adequate protein consumed at each meal can help prevent weight loss like was happening to my older brother. It can also help reduce obesity when that is an issue with the elderly.

  • Beef, poultry, and fish are best sources.

  • Protein drinks that have all 22 balanced amino acids and sweetened naturally are also good sources. Studies have shown that older men and women who use a protein supplement have greater strength and muscle mass gains when they exercise than those who do not use the protein supplement.  (Reference: Evans WJ, Protein Nutrition, Exercise and Aging, J Am Coll Nutr, 2004.23(6):601S-609S.)

  • Dairy foods such as milk, yogurt, and cheese are good supplements to protein intake as long as there is not a problem with lactose intolerance. Lactose intolerance can be an issue because as we age our natural production of hydrochloric acid decreases making it difficult to properly digest milk products. Lactose intolerance can be addressed with supplementation of hydrochloric acid and digestive enzymes.

  • Eggs and legumes are also excellent choices for protein.

  • Healthy fats are essential to good mental and physical health in the elderly. Refer to my blog about the importance of a fat brain in preventing dementia. Omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial for cardiovascular and respiratory health as well as joint health. Essential fatty acids are essential for the health of cells.

  • Omega-3’s are found in fish and nuts although many seniors have difficulty chewing nuts so they might need to be ground.

  • Cooking with olive oil, coconut oil, and butter improve flavor to foods as well as providing healthy fats.
  • Avocados are an extremely healthy way to add fat to the diet.
  • Carbohydrates provide fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants for the elderly.

  • Vegetables are especially good. Often the elderly are unable to chew vegetables in the raw state so steamed is the next best option although stir-fried with meats and healthy oils provide a tasty option. Both my mother-in-law and my mother were able to eat raw leafy greens in a salad up until about the age of 90 as long as the leafy greens were fresh and crisp.

  • Fruit is great but again in a raw form some fruit is often difficult for the elderly to chew. Most fruit can also be steamed or made into naturally sweetened applesauce, etc. Avoid fruit juice or canned fruit with added sugar, especially high fructose corn syrup.

  • Grain products can be consumed but in moderation and as close to unprocessed as possible. White and most whole wheat breads are very high glycemic and should be avoided. Sprouted grain breads (purchased from health or natural food stores) are ideal bread choices for the elderly.

  • Salt intake is critical in the elderly. Too much can aggravate some health issues but not enough salt can lead to dehydration. As mentioned above dehydration can cause serious health problems. Salt helps support adrenal function. I suggest using unprocessed sea salt (available in health or natural food stores.)

  • My mother was a person who wanted to eat healthy so she stopped salting any foods during cooking or at the table. She was critical of me and others saying we used too much salt. A few years ago her routine blood tests started showing she was low on sodium. Her doctor warned her she was at risk of becoming dehydrated and to start using salt in moderation.
  • Supplementation is generally necessaryl for the elderly to fill in the gaps of their nutritional needs

  • Vitamins and minerals

  • It is quite common for the elderly to be low in the B vitamins, vitamins E and C. Low levels of vitamin B12 can lead to dementia, anemia, depression, gastrointestinal problems and urinary tract infections. A vegan diet or large amounts of medications can indicate a need to supplement with vitamin B12.
  • Vitamin D and Calcium with magnesium are of particular concern because of lack of exposure to sunlight and many being lactose intolerant. Low intakes are related to increased hip fractures, muscle weakness and pain.
  • Omega-3’s

  • Essential Fatty Acids help in absorption of nutrients and ridding the body of toxins.

  • Antioxidants

  • Probiotics assist in keeping the intestinal tract healthy.

  • There may be additional supplementation needed for individual health issues in the elderly. I am available to discuss this with you on an individual basis.

How do you deal with malnutrition in the elderly? I’ve listed some of the reasons the elderly may be malnourished. I’ve given you some of the health problems that can be caused by malnutrition in the elderly. And I’ve given you some suggestions of how malnutrition can be avoided.

In the comment section below tell me about your experiences in dealing with an elderly relative or friend. What are your concerns and how are you dealing with them?

Next week I will be blogging about some of the family dynamics involved in caring for an elderly relative or friend.

****************************************************

NeoLife-Protein-Shake

Much, much healthier than Ensure!

Neo-Life Protein Shake

 

****************************************************

Let's connect on Facebook!
 
I'd love to see you there!  
  
******************

PatMoon  Pat Unlocks the Key to Your Future Health with Wisdom, Knowledge and Common Sense

Pat has been married to the same man for 52 years, is the mother of 3 adult children, and grandma to 8 grandchildren. Growing up in the country gave her a head start to living a healthy lifestyle.  This grandma became interested in nutrition as a mother and for the past 27 plus years she has specialized in teaching others the importance of good nutrition.  Challenges along the road have been many; her father overcoming congestive heart failure with nutrition, her husband's battle with GERD and dealing with major heart issues, her daughter's battle with a brain tumor, her grandson beating Hodgkin's Lymphoma, her mother's stage 4 lung cancer, her mom-n-law's dementia, and others.  Her goal is to empower the future health of others with wisdom, knowledge and common sense so they can have the BEST REAL HEALTH possible. 

***********************

Partner Up with Pat in having the Best Real Health possible.

Only $69 to join with us and receive 2 bottles of Tre-en-en with your Distributorship (Retail value $82.90)

Typically $49 to join as a Distributor!

www.bestrealhealth.gnld.net

The Health and Wellness Revolution is here Now … The Home Business Revolution is here Now

Get Started Right Now! www.bestrealhealth.gnld.net 

**********************

Galatians 5:22-23 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Against such things there is no law.

(All information on this blog site is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.  Information on this site has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.)

Copyright© 2014 Pat Moon – All Rights Reserved!

 
email

Leave a Comment

{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Cheryl May 9, 2015 at 8:34 pm

Well written, with some very important points.  Thank you for sharing ~ we all need to be more vigilent 🙂

Reply

2 Marvia June 12, 2014 at 7:18 pm

This reminds to take more strategic care of myself.  Thank you for sharing this.  So informative and easy to follow.  Here's to better health one day and one step at ta time.  😉

Reply

3 Pat Moon July 1, 2014 at 1:12 pm

Hi Marvia,

Yes, one step at a time leads to better health in the future.

Blessings,

Pat

Reply

4 Sharon May 13, 2014 at 8:03 pm

I feel that the elderly need a diet that's similar to GAPS, or at least things that are highly nourishing and easy to digest. Regarding grains, it's far easier to digest white rice and sourdough (which is low glycemic) made from white flour. I realize the sprouting aids in digestion, but it still contains the bran and fiber which is more difficult to digest. And I agree, in moderation.
I would also add that bone broth should be consumed every day!!
Great post Pat, thank you for this!!

Reply

5 Pat Moon May 14, 2014 at 5:16 pm

Hi Sharon,

Digestion is at the root of many health problems. Normally when I work with someone personally, that is close to the first thing I address. Hydrocloric acid production typically is less as we age as well as the production of digestive enzymes so it is most often very helpful to supplement those things with all natural supplements rather than eliminate important food groups. Unfortunately white rice and refined grain flours are pretty well stripped of nutrients. Probiotics are also important to supplement for most people as their gut health is typically not that healthy.

I actually become more interested in nutrition 30 years ago when my husband was having severe digestive issues.

Absolutely bone broth is quite healthy and does provides important nutrients. It also assists with digestion.

Thank you for your contribution to this article. There was no way I could cover every thing in one article!

Be sure to read the followup article I published today about how to address the family dynamics of malnutrition in the elderly.

Blessings, Pat

Reply

6 A. Lynn Jesus May 12, 2014 at 8:56 am

Great information in this post. Ironically, my parents are much better at making sure they have their supplements, balnaced meals, exercise, etc. than I am! I am guilty of some of the above! I must pay attention now to the better example my parents are living!

Reply

7 Pat Moon May 14, 2014 at 4:42 pm

Hi A Lynn,

Yes, we can learn from our parents examples. Up until the last year or so, my mother was an excellent example of healthy eating.

Yes, pay attention and follow your parents good example. Your future health will thank you.

Hang on to your health, don’t let it slip away gradually.

Pat

Reply

8 Premiere Social Media May 11, 2014 at 10:19 pm

Very interesting and great article. My grandma was forced to starve when she was ill at the end. She had no feeding tube, was very sad 🙁 

Reply

9 Pat Moon May 14, 2014 at 4:39 pm

Oh my! Did your grandma have an incurable health problem that she needed a feeding tube? Maybe that was her choice? I’m sorry you had to witness that. Many people who are malnourished actually are starving their body when they continue to eat poor food choices.

Thanks for reading.

Pat

Reply

10 Sharon O'Day May 11, 2014 at 8:54 pm

Both my parents died when I was young, Pat, so I had never experienced the realities of aging until my two aunts reached their mid 80s.  My mom's twin sister Patty went from being incredibly fit and active … to a rapid decline in her 80s when it was time to move to assisted living.  For someone who prided herself in her cooking, nutrition quickly became an ongoing problem.  Then I became sole (long-distance) caregiver to my French aunt in Nice.  Again, a fabulous cook.  But at a certain point in her 80s, she too entered a phase where everything was too much trouble and the malnutrition you mention became evident.  The work you've done in this article is invaluable, Pat.  You're a godsend for anyone facing these issues … initially for others and then eventually for ourselves!

Reply

11 Pat Moon May 14, 2014 at 4:34 pm

Hi Sharon,

It is so difficult to be responsible for a person in declining health when they are physically close but being so long-distance is doubly difficult. With us it was when our mother’s were widowed that it really hit home. I believe the elderly typically eat better and take care of one another when they have their spouse. Once they are left alone it does become the responsibility of another family member to make certain needs are met. That can be a challenge.

Now, we are getting closer to being the elderly. That does make me stop and think about the lifestyle habits I want to take me into those years. The healthier I am now, the better off I will be if I live to be 80 or 90. Those years are seeming younger every day!

Thank you for your contribution to this article with your comment.

Stay healthy!

Pat

Reply

12 Katrina May 11, 2014 at 7:48 pm

I guess I knew it but never put it into perspective. The easy of quick food and the need to not rely on others can lead to malnutrition. And you listed great ways to prevent it. 

Love this post and sharing! 

Reply

13 Pat Moon May 14, 2014 at 4:22 pm

Hi Katrina,

I’m glad to hear you liked this post and I appreciate you sharing it.

Most of us do not consider the possibility of disease setting in because of malnutrition. Even many doctors overlook that consideration.

Take care,

Pat

Reply

14 Sharon G. Cobb May 11, 2014 at 7:48 pm

Thank you for this article.  My father just turned 80 and had a massive heart attack in September.  I sometimes think he doesn't eat as he should. 🙁

Reply

15 Pat Moon May 14, 2014 at 4:19 pm

Hi Sharon,

I am sorry to hear about your father’s massive heart attack. Did he have permanent damage, surgery, stents, or ?? 

Does your father live alone? If so his diet can be more of a concern. Most generally we can all make healthy adjustments to our diets. Of course, I believe most people need to supplement their diet with quality supplements. It is amazing how much they will benefit your health.

I hope your father is ok?

Blessings, Pat

Reply

16 Takara Shelor May 11, 2014 at 5:49 pm

Very insightful and well written article about such an important topic. So few people talk specifically about the nutritional needs of the elderly. Thanks for taking the time and doing it well.
 

Reply

17 Gina May 10, 2014 at 4:43 pm

I'm glad you wrote about malnutrutrition in the elderly.  I think of someone I know who lives alone. She eats well when dining out, but eats only snacks at home. You listed some options that may be possible to introduce at home!  

Reply

18 Pat Moon May 11, 2014 at 6:11 pm

Great, Gina. Yes, there are healthy options other than dining out. Snacks can even be healthy. I hope it works out for you to share some ideas with your friend.

If I can help or give more suggestions please let me know.

Good health to you and yours.

Pat

 

Reply

19 jeanne Costello May 9, 2014 at 7:32 am

Thanks so much Pat, tthat was a great article…filled with good info and knowledge. I appreciate you

 

Reply

20 Pat Moon May 11, 2014 at 5:59 pm

Hi Jeanne,

I’m so happy you found this article to be filled with good info and knowledge. That’s my passion… to get the message out to people who need it and can use it.

Blessings to your good health.

Pat

Reply

21 Gilly May 8, 2014 at 10:09 pm

Pat I really enjoyed your article! Not long ago I was caring for an elderly man who lived alone. I would make him breakfast in the mornings and come back in the evenings to make sure he'd eaten at night. He really didn't have much of an appetite, so it was sometimes difficult to get enough nutrients in him. My problem was with the microwave, as he used it to heat up foods when I was not there. Thanks Pat!

Reply

22 Pat Moon May 11, 2014 at 5:56 pm

Hi Gilly,

You were doing a good thing to help care of that elderly man. Yes, microwaving is not good but it is better than him not eating. There does become a point that it is not healthy for a person to continue to live alone. Yet their independance is also important. It’s too bad when the elderly are no longer able to prepare their own food and make wise choices for themselves. Microwaving probably has more long-term negative consequences than short term so it may not be a horrible choice for the elderly when that is the only option.

You were doing a good job.

Pat

Reply

23 Veronica May 8, 2014 at 9:33 pm

This is a really informative post! It is a great perspective that we are all in the aging process from the day we were born. The sooner we can start eating healthy the better. The ederly are definitely at risk and this is the time that proper nutrition is helpful.

Reply

24 Pat Moon May 11, 2014 at 5:48 pm

Hi Veronica,

Proper nutrition is helpful all through life so those healthy lifestyle choices we make when we are young follow us through to older ages. Often it is difficult to change life long bad habits as an oldster but if healthy habits are a way of life we will more than likely keep them as we grow older.

Blessings to your good health.

Pat

Reply

25 Rochefel May 8, 2014 at 5:55 pm

Your blog is very detailed. I'll be bookmarking this one 🙂 thanks for all the information 🙂

Reply

26 Pat Moon May 11, 2014 at 5:43 pm

Hi Rochefel,

Thanks for reading. I hope you are able to use it as a reference and put some of the information to good use.

I appreciate you.

Pat

Reply

27 Meire Weishaupt May 8, 2014 at 4:58 pm

Interesting article with a lot of info to take good care of our ealderly ones. I like the way you teach us not just to have a health family member living with us, but ourselves to avoid serious health problems in the future.

Reply

28 Pat Moon May 11, 2014 at 5:32 pm

Hi Meire,

Yes, this article was written with all ages in mind. It is never too early to establish healthy lifestyle choices. When you  are practicing a healthy lifestyle in your 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s you will more than likely continue them in your 80’s and 90’s.

Take care now!

Pat

Reply

29 Norma Doiron @Savvy Biz Solutions May 8, 2014 at 4:56 pm

Oh, I relate! My hubby is a truck driver and I never know when he'll be around for meals…so I just grab quick foods in the house. Oh, they are not bad foods but they are not balanced. I really need to work on this… thanks, Pat.

Reply

30 Pat Moon May 11, 2014 at 5:29 pm

Yes, Norma, it is important to make healthy, wise, balanced foods choices. It will make a difference in your long term health.

You know, just do it!

Love ya,

Pat

Reply

31 Pamela May 8, 2014 at 12:18 am

I was amazed at how your mother and mother-in-law reached 90+ of age. I can't imagine if that age is still possible in today's eating habits and lifestyle. Thank you for bringing awareness about the importance of nutrition for our elderly. 🙂

Reply

32 Pat Moon May 11, 2014 at 5:27 pm

Hi Pamela,

It is amazing how long people are living now. Even though our quality of food has suffered in the last several decades, most of those people had a good healthy start eating real food. Someone 90 years old was born in 1923 prior to all the fake food production. Join that with better and improved medical care, yes, they are living long lives. I have heard it said that the generation that is below the age of 30 or 40 may be the first generations that will not live longer than their parents lived. That is sad but with the obesity epidemic in many young people they are going to suffer more health problems than ever before. 

The earlier we start practicing a healthy lifestyle, the more likely we will live a long life.

Thanks for you insightful comment.

Pat

Reply

33 Tina May 7, 2014 at 7:40 pm

I'm guilty of this myself. I live alone and I find it very difficult to eat healthy when I don't want to cook for myself. 

Reply

34 Pat Moon May 11, 2014 at 5:16 pm

Hi Tina,

I totally understand not wanting to make a big mess to cook for just one person. That is a good reason to learn to keep it simple. Even for the 2 of us, I cook lots of meals in one pan. I sautee a couple pieces of chicken or a couple hamburger patties and then stirfry some veggies in the same pan over low heat with olive oil. Then I keep easy salad fixings like mixed greens, tomatoes and avocado. That makes a healthy dinner. We have a NeoLife Shake for lunch. It’s filling and healthy. Breakfast is simple with an egg and piece of toast. Nothing fancy but real food instead of packaged or instant meals.

Take care of yourself. You are a VIP. Stay healthy!

Pat

Reply

35 Kungphoo May 7, 2014 at 7:36 pm

Very lovely article! I enjoyed reading it very much! 🙂

Reply

36 Pat Moon May 11, 2014 at 5:08 pm

I’m always pleased to have Kungphoo read my articles! Thanks.

Reply

37 Susan Schiller May 7, 2014 at 6:15 pm

Many of the elderly that I know (in their 80's) eat twice a day at a local restaurant. My mom is one of them. I don't think she would prepare her own meals, otherwise, so it's probably the best alternative… plus the social aspect. She also takes a vitamin drink supplement, and her doctor keeps tabs on all her nutritional supplements. That's something I didn't know doctors did until my mom mentioned it a few years ago. 

I think about my step-dad who passed away this past year at the age of 83, and he ate the worst foods you can imagine, didn't exercise … yet he was never sick. He died of cancer, but he was only sick for a few weeks and had very little pain. I often think about him and how it ate unhealthy foods all day long, every day… didn't take any supplements at all…. and took quite a few prescriptions… you would have thought he would have had health problems, but no….  so it's has me wondering what his secret is!

Your post is so informative, as always, Pat. I always pick up something new, like the importance of vitamin B-12, which is my takeaway for today. My son mentioned having short-term memory problems, and I'm wondering if he's getting enough B-vitamins. I'm glad you are writing – thanks so much!

Reply

38 Pat Moon May 11, 2014 at 5:08 pm

Hi Susan,

Yes, it seems many senior citizens eat out once or twice a day. That may be better than the alternative although it may not be the healthiest alternative. Many people even in their 60’s and 70’s are doing that so they are in the habit of doing that when they reach their 80’s and 90’s. They are not going to change then. We personally could not afford to do that plus we don’t live close to restaurants. 

Some doctors are finally acknowledging that we should take supplements. Although most of them have no clue about how to choose quality supplements.

Susan, I believe some people just have good genes or maybe they ignore some of the aches and pains we don’t ignore? God does instruct us to take care of our bodies, they are His Temple so I believe we should not ignore that. I had a pastor once who loved doughnuts. Everyone knew that and kept him supplied. Then he ended up with cancer in his early 70’s. I tried to talk to him about how cancer feeds on sugar. He just laughed me off saying he was ready to die so it didn’t matter. I believe he died a few short months after that. He was not willing to give up something harmful to take better care of God’s Temple. Maybe some day we will understand more about how some people’s bad choices do not seem to cause them harm.

Thanks for sharing your take-away from this article. Its always encouraging to know what people learm from my blogs.

I appreciate your comment.

Blessings to you. Pat

Reply

39 Nate May 7, 2014 at 5:37 pm

Hi Pat,

It just shows that not a lot of elderlies know how to take care of themselves.  WHen it comes to nutrition it should be a lifestyle.  Should practice everything you preached in this article.  Thanks for sharing!

Reply

40 Pat Moon May 11, 2014 at 11:06 am

Yes, Nate, there are many elderlies who do know how to properly take care of themselves. And, yes, lifestyle habits are key to their longivity and quality of life. As people grow older, they need to already have healthy lifestyle habits and awarenesses as they are probably not going to change once they reach their 80’s and 90’s. They usually maintain the habits they had during their 40’s through 80.

Appreciate your comment and support.

Pat

Reply

41 Alexandra McAllister May 7, 2014 at 5:03 pm

Oh, this article touched my heart, Pat. My foster mom was in a hospital for 11 years. She couldn't speak or move her right side but she understood what was going on. The food wasn't the best, of course. I'd consulted with a friend who has a health store and he's also a doctor. Between his advice and also a nutritionist, we came up with a health program for my mum. I believe it did help her even though it wasn't easy seeing her like this. She passed away just before her 96th birthday. I feel that what we gave her did make her feel better. Thank you for all this great info! A lot of people don't understand how important this is. 

Reply

42 Pat Moon May 11, 2014 at 11:01 am

Hi Alexandra,

I’m so sorry to hear what happened to your foster mom. 11 years is a long time to be in a hospital. I assume they had a long term care unit. When your loved one is confined to any type of institutional care, there are usually limits to what can be done about their nutritional needs. That was a very difficult thing for us when my mom-in-law had to be in a long term care home for over 5 years. I’m glad to hear that you and your friend were able in intervene in her nutritional needs. That had to have helped her quality of life.

Blessings to your memories.

Pat

Reply

43 Beverley Golden May 7, 2014 at 3:43 pm

Very caring and thorough overview of the topic Pat!  There are more and more elderly people who could use some assistance from those around them, be that family, friends or others in the community.  My 98-year-old mom is still very active and vital and I feel grateful that none of the possible things you've detailed here apply to her.  Great article that will undoubtedly open up lots of eyes and hopefully have people more aware and ready to help those who need it. 

Reply

44 Pat Moon May 11, 2014 at 10:54 am

Beverley, that is wonderful and amazing that your mother is 98 and still quite active and vital. What a blessing!

My mother-in-law passed away last Oct just 3 months prior to her 98th birthday. Even though we worked with her for years and years to encourage her to eat healthy and do some other healthy lifestyle activities, she was not always receptive to our advice. That affected her mind and balance. She ended up falling and breaking a hip (it was a clean break, not shattered). That was the beginning of the end. It was a gradual decline from there mentally which caused us to have to accept the fact that she was not going to be able to come live with us as we had planned. She required 24 hour care. That meant she never came home from the rehab/nursing home. She lived there for over 5 years. That was not a good experience for her or us. Very difficult situation.

Please stay on top of your mother’s lifestyle habits so they remain active and vital both mentally and physically.

Blessings,

Pat

Reply

45 Roslyn May 7, 2014 at 2:59 pm

As always, a wealth of information. I've not had to deal with elderly and nutrition but imagine that if and when you have to place someone in a facility, what they serve is a factor in price and between 2 choices. Not an easy situation. In my area we have Meals on Wheels that delivers food to home bound elderly. At least they get 1 nutritious meal daily. I think this is an often overlooked issue when dealing with elderly. Glad you addressed it.

Reply

46 Pat Moon May 11, 2014 at 10:43 am

Thanks Roslyn,

With our age, we are often in that sandwich generation. Our parents are still living and need extra help and encouragement yet we ourselves are moving closer to being in the elderly group. I believe many in our age group are living a lifestyle that will benefit us when we reach our late 80’s and 90’s. Then again I look around me at times and see people younger than I am who need more help with their health than my mother at age 93. The other day a friend of mine who is 64 made the statement that age 90 is the new age 70. People are living longer and healthier for the most part.

Aging gracefully,

Pat

Reply

47 Meryl Hershey Beck May 7, 2014 at 2:22 pm

Great post. As we get older and pehaps taking care of those elderly ones around us that need our support it is important to ensure that they are getting all of the nitrition they need. This can sometimes be difficult because in many cases the elderly can no longer do as much for themselves. We need to be aware of thier medications and their health needs. Thank you for the  tips. We all want those we love around us for as long as possbile. 

Reply

48 Pat Moon May 11, 2014 at 10:35 am

Hi Meryl,

Yes, we want the elderly around us to be with us as long as possible. We want them to have a good quality of life as well. Getting adequate nutrition is definitely a contribution factor to there quality of life. It is important to establish healthy eating habits when we are young because that is something difficult to change in the elderly.. they can be quite set in their ways.

Keep on sharing your healthy tips, too.

Pat

Reply

Previous post:

Next post: