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Seniors at Risk for Malnutrition

Sensational Seniors

Seniors who are most at risk for malnutrition are those who:

  • Live alone.
  • Do not eat foods from all 4 food groups.
  • Are over 70 years.
  • Drink more than 6 cups tea/coffee daily.
  • Are house-bound.
  • Have a poor appetite.
  • Are on a budget.

By concentrating on getting enough key vitamins and minerals, for which seniors often fall short, they can improve and maintain their health. Some examples include:

  • Vitamin B12 absorption lessens with age due to changes in the stomach. You can find vitamin B12 in meat, fish, eggs, and milk.
  • More vitamin D is needed as we age because our skin makes less, and sun exposure declines, especially in the winter. Vitamin D is found in sardines, salmon, herring, margarine and milk.
  • Calcium is needed to keep bones strong and prevent osteoporosis.
  • Zinc is a mineral that can keep the immune system working. It is found in oysters, turkey, lima beans, bran cereal, nuts, milk and red meat.

Nutrient-rich food ideas:

Eat well to feel well

  • Hot cereal
  • Sweet potatoes mixed with regular potatoes
  • Soups made with milk
  • Grated cheese on vegetables
  • Yogurt with fruit
  • Eggs prepared any way
  • Canned tuna added to pasta or salads

Activity is important

  • Being active can provide some protection against chronic illnesses such as osteoporosis, diabetes, joint problems and heart disease. In fact, a US researcher improved muscle strength by 160 percent in the very frail elderly in nursing homes, by having them weight train for 8 weeks! (average age 90).

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