Malnutrition In The Elderly
Malnutrition among the elderly is a most common distress in the society. The worst thing is that for the society it is considered as the general and inevitable outcome of aging and diseases associated with it. Many believe that involvement would not be of any use. However, it has been noticed that if correct nutritional evaluation is carried out and accordingly treated elderly would of course be benefited to some extent. Care for elderly should become a regular part for hospitals, old age homes and society as such.
A survey conducted by Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (HANES) collected data which says that merely 1 percent of elders who are self sufficient are actually malnourished. Around 16 percent of elderly community-dwelling Americans' calorie intake is less than 1000 calories per day. These community-dwelling people are at high risk of being a victim of malnutrition.
The basic causes for them to be malnourished are due to sickness, lesser income sources, dependence and inadequate medical care. The malnutrition ranges from 12 percent to 50 percent among the hospitalized elderly people and 23 percent to 60 percent among the elderly community who are being institutionalized.
The major causes for institutionalized older adults to be malnourished are attributed to depression, dependency on the care takers and use of hunger anorexigenic drugs.
The factor which leads to malnutrition among elderly community is accredited to many issues that can be broadly classified into physiological, pathological, sociological and psychological. The most common problem that the health centers faces is to identify the actual cause because these causes are all mingled up with each other.
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