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With Age Comes a Growing Risk of Malnutrition

Earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal published an article titled, “With Age Comes a Growing Risk of Malnutrition”. The article outlines many age-related factors that often interfere with nutrient absorption and food intake necessary to maintain good health. These include apparent factors such as poor food choices, inactivity and the aging process itself. However, oftentimes it is not as obvious factors such as prescribed medication used to treat age related illnesses; like diabetes and heart disease that directly hinders nutrient absorption in older adults. Depression is also noted as a significant factor associated with aging that can disrupt normal eating habits. Unfortunately, the inability to shop and cook also often comes with age and/or illness. Compounding the above – mentioned issues, this incapacity puts seniors at even higher risk for malnutrition.

The article goes on to note that malnutrition among seniors is oftentimes first detected in hospital settings, after older patients are admitted for a different reason. And according to the non-profit group Alliance to Advance Patient Nutrition, malnourished patients in hospitals are more susceptible to infection at the site of surgery, pneumonia after an operation and more likely to develop bed sores or fall. Because of this, it is of the utmost importance for individuals already prone to illness and with weak immune systems to take the necessary steps to prevent malnutrition.

Our home-delivered medically tailored meal program provides nutritious prepared meals to people of all ages with life threatening illnesses, alleviating the stress of food insecurity while providing the tools to eat healthier and better understand how to use food as a form of medicine. At God’s Love, Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN) evaluate clients on an individual level, creating customized meal plans to ensure that food and nutrient intake is adequate based on individual illnesses, prescribed medications and any other personal issues that may impact their nutritional health. To meet the needs of our growing number of senior clients, our RDNs also specialize in Geriatric Nutrition.

Receiving medically tailored meals and working with RDNs helps to increase our clients’ overall health and prevent malnutrition, while living with serious illnesses and weakened immune systems. This in turn allows people to remain in their homes, decreases the chance of hospitalization and increases the likelihood of recovery without further complications, if admitted to a hospital.

The comparatively low-cost intervention of food and nutrition yields fantastic benefits for both individuals and the health care system.

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