6 Ways Poor Nutrition Affects Older Adults

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Poor nutrition can have a negative effect on people of all ages, especially seniors, as their bodies may not function as normally as they did in their younger years. Here are some of the ways poor nutrition impacts seniors.

1. Heart Conditions

Unhealthy eating habits can cause seniors to gain weight and increase their odds of being obese. Excessive weight causes the heart to pump harder and faster and puts seniors at higher risk for strokes, heart disease, heart attacks, and other serious health conditions. However, eating healthy foods and exercising could help your loved one shed excess pounds and maintain an ideal weight. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust home care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life.

2. Vision Loss

Eye diseases may be aggravated due to low intake of antioxidants, lutein, protein, and vitamins. Eating healthy foods provides seniors with a variety of benefits, including the protection of healthy cells in the retina, protection against free radicals, and the repair of eye damage caused by intense light exposure or stress. If your loved one has poor nutrition, his or her risk of vision loss may increase, and in some instances malnutrition can speed up cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration. 

3. Vulnerability to Bacterial Infections

When your loved one has a low intake of minerals, vitamins, and protein, he or she may experience a reduction in the creation of white blood cells in the bone marrow. As a result, your loved one’s immune system may have difficulty identifying harmful bacteria and viruses. If your loved one has severe bacterial infections, it may be difficult for antibiotics to treat these issues. However, proper nutrition is a great way to boost the immune system and prevent various bacterial infections and viruses. 

4. Weakened Joints & Muscles

If your loved one follows an unhealthy diet, he or she will likely have a low intake of calcium and protein. This could cause the bones to weaken, increasing his or her odds of developing arthritis or osteoporosis. Since your loved one may have poor bone structure and low bone density caused by aging, he or she needs to eat foods high in fiber, calcium, and protein to strengthen the muscles and increase flexibility. Poor nutrition could increase your loved one’s risk of slips, falls, and broken bones. In Cedar Falls, elder care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.

5. Higher Risk of Cancer

Bad eating habits could lower the amount of immune cells in the body, which is one of the reasons cancers are common among seniors with poor nutrition. By following a healthy diet, your loved one can reduce his or her risk of developing various types of cancer. 

6. Memory Impairment

Poor nutrition could accelerate the loss of neurons in the brain, causing seniors to develop speech and memory impairment. Eating healthy fats, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and other nutritious foods can clear the body of toxins that have a negative impact on the brain. If your loved one has a genetic predisposition to Parkinson’s disease, poor nutrition could be detrimental to his or her health. Families don’t always have the time or ability to meet their senior loved ones’ nutritional needs. If you need help making sure your loved one follows a nutritious diet, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Whether you need respite from your caregiving duties or your aging loved one needs live-in care, Cedar Falls, Iowa, Home Care Assistance can meet your family’s care needs. Our dedicated caregivers are available around the clock to provide transportation to doctor’s appointments, ensure seniors take their prescribed medications, and help with a variety of tasks in and outside the home. If your loved one needs assistance with the challenges of aging, reach out to one of our knowledgeable, compassionate Care Managers today at 319-260-2222.


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