Do you have an elderly mother or father? Many elderly people face malnutrition, it is sad to see how all too many end up in a retirement village with endless drug prescriptions and poor diets.
The percentage I’m quoting here is from the area I live in New Zealand. This may be different where you live, but you will find it could be more or less. The point of this article is to outline the fact that many of our older citizens are just not getting the required nutrition, and many even suffer from malnutrition.
A study conducted in 2017 found, of 167 participants, 23% were malnourished and 35% were at high risk of malnutrition.
The study from the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board (New Zealand) showed 57 percent of over-65’s in the region were not eating properly, which could lead to a loss of independence or a hospital stay, The Dominion Post reported. Out of about 7518 people, a third would be high risk. Those at highest risk were those living alone or the Maori elderly (our indigenous population). Some elderly did not believe they needed to eat as much as younger people, could not cook or thought it was normal to lose weight with age, the study found. It said there were three steps to becoming obviously malnourished, starting with having risk factors at which point the condition started affecting an older person’s health, leading to “sub-clinical malnutrition”.
Eric’s comment: Do you have an elderly mother or father? Are they under medical care or perhaps in a retirement village? Have you made sure mum or dad are eating well, a balanced and nutritious meal daily? I’m sorry to say that I’ve heard many a horror story of older folks living in dreadful situations – handfuls of pharmaceutical drugs and a shocking diet.
White bread, lots of cups of tea and plain biscuits, packet soups and the mandatory “drugs to lower cholesterol”, “heart pills”, and up to a dozen toxic concoctions which give multiple side-effects. Is this a dignified exit for a person in their twilight years?
How many older people live in under-developed countries that fare better than our New Zealand elderly? Probably better food, more family support and no toxic drugs to cause them a side-effect ridden misery as they age. Love your parents. Take them for regular assessments and question their pharmaceutical drug prescriptions. Check on their diet and make the right changes.
Do they have problems chewing, pooping, sleeping, with energy, etc? Get the basics right and they will be able to enjoy their remaining years in comfort.