If your elderly family member isn’t getting the nutrition that she needs, that’s a huge problem. Finding practical solutions to malnutrition, like hiring home care assistance, is crucial. But it’s also crucial to get to the bottom of what’s causing the malnutrition in the first place.
Less Energy than Usual
Your senior may have less energy than she did as a younger person, but if you’re noticing a big decline in energy levels, that could be a signal. Eating a healthy diet helps your senior to have enough energy to get through her day and to avoid feeling blah. Other necessary aspects, like getting enough sleep and exercising, can also help with energy levels.
Weakened Immune System
Is your senior feeling more than just blah? If she seems to be battling little illnesses constantly or has small wounds that take a long time to heal, that could be another sign to pay attention to. Without the right nutrients, your senior isn’t able to keep her immune system functioning properly and that can lead to big problems.
Balance and Strength Issues
Besides low blood sugar from not eating, balance and strength issues can be another sign of malnutrition. Without plenty of protein, muscle loss accelerates. The muscles that remain are then weaker, and your senior may find it’s that much more difficult to maintain her balance. All of that can lead directly to a fall.
Weight Loss or Gain
Unexpected weight gain or loss can also be a sign of malnutrition. Changes to your senior’s weight, especially when she’s not trying to change her weight, are a clue that you can’t afford to ignore. Eating foods that are full of calories, but not nutrients is a big problem for your senior.
Changes in Sleep Habits
Energy levels tell you a lot, as mentioned, but your senior might have low energy not just because of malnutrition but also because her sleeping habits have changed. She may be sleeping more than usual and yet still feel fatigued. Or she could be experiencing difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, both of which are forms of insomnia.
Having Home Care Assistance to Step in
Battling malnutrition may be easier than you expect. Some of the reasons for malnutrition can come down to simple difficulty with the demands of cooking. Home care assistance can take care of that for your senior. Home care assistance providers can also be beneficial in reminding your senior to eat when she should, which can be another major contributing factor to malnutrition.