Senior Malnutrition

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While there is a great deal of attention given to issues associated with senior hunger and food insecurity, there is a hidden epidemic that is on the rise within the senior community: This epidemic is malnutrition. One out of three seniors admitted to the hospital is malnourished: On average, seniors who are diagnosed with malnutrition remain hospitalized three times longer than those who are not. Furthermore, malnourishment can cause muscle loss (sarcopenia). Sarcopenia increases the likelihood that a senior will fall.
Costs Related to Disease-Associated Malnutrition

It is estimated that disease-associated malnutrition (DAM) is costing the U.S. almost $160 billion each year ($508 per resident): Nearly 80 percent of these costs are linked
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Revision of Hospital and Post-acute Care Policies is Essential

Hospitals and post-acute care facilities need to adjust practices so as to promote malnutrition screening and assessment consistently throughout a senior’s hospital stay or added to the routine blood work for seniors residing in assisted living communities. If these assessments are disregarded, an individual may be released from the hospital and then readmitted shortly thereafter; furthermore, a resident in an assisted living community may be admitted to the hospital due to complications related to
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Limit Distractions at Mealtime

Another reason patients at the Canadian hospitals neglected to eat involved interruptions; therefore, it may be helpful if health care providers limit distractions at mealtime.

5. Incorporate the Daily Food Patterns Recommended by the National Institutes of Health (NIH)

The following diet is recommended by the NIH for individuals aged 50 and older:

2 to 2 ½ cups of vegetables 2 to 2 ½ cups of fruit (½ cup of fruit is equal to ¼ cup of dried fruit or a 2-inch peach) 5 ½ ounces of foods high in protein (one egg, ½ an ounce of seeds or nuts, ¼ cup of tofu or 1 tablespoon of peanut butter are equivalent to one ounce of fish, meat or poultry) 2 to 3 cups of low-fat or fat-free dairy (1 ½ to 2 ounces of cheese or one cup of yogurt are equivalent to 1 cup of milk) 7 to 8 ounces of Grains, half of which should be whole grains (½ cup of cooked pasta or rice, or a small muffin are equivalent to an ounce of grains) No more than 6 tablespoons of oil - this maximum amount includes the consumption of foods that contain a lot of oil (avocados, nuts and
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