The World Health Organization estimated that 1 out of every 6 people in the world would experience malnutrition by 2015. In the elderly, WHO stated about 90 percent don't get enough vitamin D. Half of seniors don't get enough protein. About 3 out of 10 seniors don't get enough selenium, vitamin B12, or zinc. Here are a few risks your mom faces if she isn't eating properly.

A Reduction in Muscle Mass and Bone Strength.

When your mom isn't eating properly, she can lose muscle mass. It can throw off her ability to balance and move around easily. Her bones may weaken without enough vitamin D and calcium. That will also impact her balance. If she falls, she can break a bone.

The lack of muscle mass can also affect her body's internal thermostat. She can have a harder time staying warm. If she goes outside or into a lake, ocean, pool, or another water source, the risk of hypothermia increases.

Immunities Decrease.

Without proper nutrition, your mom's immune system may have to work harder. It will take it more time to battle a virus or infection. If she gets a common cold, it can take her longer to fight it. A simple cut may not heal quickly and can become severely infected requiring medical attention.

The risk of infection is also worrisome when your mom has a virus like the flu. There's a higher risk of that infection affecting the chest and leading to pneumonia. 

Mental Health Can Be Affected.

Malnutrition is believed to impact energy levels and mental health. Anxiety and depression may be worsened when a diet is lacking certain vitamins and minerals. Harvard Health talked about a study where the depression risk increased when a diet was high in sugar, saturated fats, and processed foods.

The Risk of Some Illnesses is Higher With Those Who Don't Eat a Balanced Diet.

If your mom isn't eating properly, it can affect her health. It increases her risk of chronic illness. Dementia, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, anemia, osteoporosis, and cancer are all potential risks of malnutrition.

Make sure your mom has a kitchen stocked with the right foods and can prepare meals on her own. If she can't, caregivers can. You can have caregivers help her create a weekly menu, shop for ingredients, and prepare them for her. Caregivers can join her for a meal so that she has companionship while she eats.

If you or an aging loved-one are considering caregiver services in Torrance, CA, talk to the caring staff at Cambrian Home Care today. (562) 498-1800 / (877) 390-4300

 

Sources:

https://www.nestle.com/asset-library/documents/library/events/2010-malnutrition-in-older-people/factsheet_malnutrition_e_for-web.pdf

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/diet-and-depression-2018022213309

 

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