Getting enough nutrition is important at any age. However, 15% to 50% of the elderly suffer from malnutrition according to medical studies. A 1992 survey by Ross Laboratories shows that over 20% of seniors skip at least one meal a day. Plus, another study found that 16% of seniors eat less than 1,000 calories a day.
There are many reasons why your elderly loved ones might not be eating as they should.
- Depression from living alone can make it hard to prepare food for just one person, causing them to lose interest in eating.
- Some seniors may have physical limitations like arthritis that make it difficult to prepare food.
- Their dentures are ill-fitting and painful, so they may avoid foods that require a lot of chewing, like meats and raw vegetables.
- Some older people lose their sense of taste and smell, making foods taste bland and taking the enjoyment out of eating.
- Medication side effects can make foods taste bitter or cause a loss of appetite.
- Seniors may have no way to get to the grocery store; and they don