Even more — one in three — suffer from some form of malnutrition.
Previous Next Preventing Malnutrition Among Older Adults When we think about the health of frail older adults, severe, high-profile illnesses such as dementia, heart disease, cancer, and debilitating arthritis come to mind.
But for many seniors, small things can turn a manageable chronic condition into an acute medical crisis. A new study reports that one of every six older adults living at home reaches a hospital ER weakened by malnutrition and as many as 6 in 10 are at least at risk for the condition.
The study, by researchers at the University of North Carolina and the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, looked only at people over 65 who came from home and were neither cogitatively impaired nor suffering an immediate life-threatening illness.
In other words, the researchers were focusing on older people who were relatively healthy and functioning at a fairly high level. The paper was published in the Aug 12 edition of the Annals of Emergency Medicine. Who is more likely to suffer from poor nutrition? Interestingly, the study found little difference in rates of malnutrition between men and women, people with or without college education, and those living in cities or in rural areas.
Whites were more likely to be malnourished than African-Americans. The consequences of malnutrition among elders are quite severe. Few Americans starve to death, but people weakened by lack of nutritious food are at risk for severe health problems.
They are more likely to suffer falls or bed sores, and once hospitalized, to suffer complications. They stay in the hospital longer than those who are well nourished and their death rates are higher. Malnutrition among the elderly is largely preventable but it requires action by families, communities, and the health care system.
For instance, community volunteers can provide rides to the grocery store or even shop for their neighbors. For those who cannot afford healthy food, government-funded programs such as SNAP formerly food stamps and Meals on Wheels can help.
Many factors could underpin the country’s recent progress: Greater resilience among low-income households thanks to a nationwide social safety net, better access to health, education, water and sanitation services, higher food security, and programs targeted specifically at fighting malnutrition. “The kids from poor families had lower IQs and less effective executive functioning, which takes place in the prefrontal part of the brain – things like working memory, semantic fluency and cognitive flexibility, the capacity to readily switch tasks,” reports Boyce. Years of war have also disrupted the transmission of basic knowledge among families: several mothers, for example, no longer knew how to feed or care for their children. And the fact that the youngest children were among the most affected indicates that poor weaning practices play a major role in the persistence of malnutrition.
Given the potential costs of malnutrition, spending more on these programs rather than cutting their budgets may be money well-spent.
Similarly, Medicare does not pay for preventive dental services. Opening the door to full coverage could be hugely expensive but given the prevalence of malnutrition among those with dental problems such as ill-fitting dentures or gum or tooth paina modest expansion of the program might be worthwhile.
The medical system must play a key role. A group called the Alliance to Advance Patient Nutrition has recommended clinical changes that could go a long way towards reducing malnutrition.
It suggests hospitals spend a few minutes screening patients for nutritional health and improve nursing protocols to identify and respond to these issues. But those changes only help while a patient is in the hospital.
It is far more important to identify patients who are at-risk long before they are hospitalized and take steps to be sure they are well-nourished while still at home. Since poor nutrition is often associated with chronic disease, both specialists and primary care doctors need better training in both identifying potential problems and helping families address them.
That means teaching family members and paid caregivers to recognize signs of poor nutrition and showing them how to respond. A quick guide on what family members should look for when they visit a frail relative would be invaluable.
Has she stopped eating since she started on a new medication? Are her teeth bothering her?Severe acute malnutrition contributes to 1 million deaths among children annually. Adding routine antibiotic agents to nutritional therapy may increase recovery rates and decrease mortality among.
Rwanda: Nutrition Profile. Background Since the civil war and genocide in the early s, the Government of Rwanda (GOR) has embarked on rebuilding the chronic malnutrition among children under 2 years of age was introduced in the EDPRS II.
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Further, in September , their families affected by HIV/AIDS. PEPFAR, Feed the Future UNICEF. COMMUNITY-BASED MANAGEMENT OF SEVERE ACUTE MALNUTRITION A Joint Statement by the World Health Organization, the World Food Programme, the .
The inclusion of such a large number of countries makes it possible to obtain insights into the regional clustering of poor–rich malnutrition disparities in the developing world and into the association between the average level of malnutrition and socioeconomic inequality.
India. Home» India» Resources. Nutrition and Malnutrition Resources for India. Go To > Comprehensive Nutrition and Malnutrition Resources In order to provide more comprehensive and meaningful search results on our site, several reports are available for viewing and download directly.
Alleviating malnutrition in communities. Poor families were still unable to produce enough food or to earn sufficient income to purchase the food they needed.
Another strategy to maintain adequate diets among the poor that gained attention in the s was the promotion of traditional food crops such as vegetables, fruits, pulses and.