13 Indicators of Malnutrition in Older Adults (And Strategies for Intervention)

Anorexia is an overall decline in appetite leading to decreased food intake, and consumption of inadequate calories. It is the major cause of weight loss and poor nutritional status in older adults.

Malnutrition and dehydration are associated with susceptibility to infections, cognitive impairment, poor skin and bone integrity, pressure sores and hip fractures. These serious consequences along with co-morbidities from chronic illness often lead to mortality.

Malnutrition is reported in up to 85% of nursing home patients and dehydration has been documented in as many as 60% of residents.

A protocol to screen and assess residents for nutritional risk is essential in establishing early interventions and diminishing serious health effects, which can include, for malnutrition:

·       Weight loss

·       Infection

·       Impaired wound healing

·       Immune deficiency

·       Development of pressure sores

·       Mortality

Serious health effects for dehydration may include:

·       Constipation

·       Urinary tract infections

·       Renal disease

·       Pneumonia

·       Hypotension

·       Delirium

·       Mortality


For more details on indicators of malnutrition in older adults and strategies for intervention, view the full presentation

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Benjamin Pearce is an expert in the senior living industry and dementia-related care. He has thirty-five years of experience working with over 200 communities in 36 states encompassing over $1 billion in annual revenue. Pearce has extensive experience as a published author of several books and as a public speaker for caregivers and supervisors. His book, Senior Living Communities: Operations Management and Marketing for Assisted Living, Congregate and Continuing Care Retirement Communities is the go-to handbook for effective senior residential facilities. It has also been converted into an online classroom for the certification of assisted living administrators in several states. He is also the author of 27 eBooks on Amazon Kindle and iTunes covering industry related topics. He is a frequent contributor on senior living for publications such as Provider, Contemporary Long Term Care and Assisted Living Success. Pearce also serves as an expert witness for assisted living and skilled nursing litigation. Pearce shares his expertise as an adjunct professor for Johns Hopkins University and New York University, while teaching a variety of courses about senior living development and operations. He is also a professor at the Institute for Senior Living Education, based in Connecticut, an instructor for the Executive Director Certification Course and an instructor for EasyCEU.com, a continuing education provider. Pearce has received a number of awards including the Contemporary Long Term Care Order of Excellence, awarded to recognize outstanding operators and an elite fraternity whose members have been judged by their peers to be the nation's best.