Older Adults And Weight Loss
Older adults across the globe are being faced with a number of obstacles, notably the aging process as well as environmental, social norms, societal expectations as well as health concerns. Various scholarly articles have been written to assert these beliefs. This issue has not only elicited attention amongst the older population but also health professionals and policy makers. It is important to take note that assembling a wide scope of facts and figures is essential to achieving a successful research study. There is need for an individual or health care facility to be equipped with specialized and adequate knowledge, as caring for this demographic group is quite complicated. This literary study acknowledges this fact and will use readily available materials to arrive at the problem statement. The main aim of this study is to bring forth knowledge of the care options of the elderly especially with regard to their overall health and well being.
Keywords: Aging process, Health, Demographic Group, Elderly, Health Care.
Older Adults and Weight Loss
Changes that are associated with age have a significant effect on the functionality of the body system not only amongst the elderly, but to everyone. The overall well being in terms of health amongst the elderly deteriorates at a significant rate. On the flip side, normal age related changes amount to health complications such as heart disease, diabetes etc. management of such chronic health complications requires one or more medical interventions prescribed for regular inception. It has been established that adult care is one of the most prevalent care interventions across the globe. At this age in life, the elderly population is so vulnerable and susceptible to a number of health conditions, weight loss being the most prevalent. Based on the above notion, adult care is depicted as a complex undertaking.
The changes that are elicited during this demographic age are not a clear denotation of disability. The elderly ought to be accorded with regular exercise, intellectual and social simulation and most importantly, have a healthy diet. However, this may not be the case with adults over the age of 80. The above interventional procedures are more ideal to people at the age of 65. The latter age requires handling with utmost precision. To begin with, communication is one of the most inhibiting factors in provision of care among the elderly. Adult care requires a multifaceted approach. This means that it may incorporate a geriatric nurse professional who working together with occupational therapists, physical therapists, pharmacists as well as other health professionals.
Weight loss amongst Older Adults
Older adults experience unintentional weight loss. To further explain this, the author explains that the elderly experience an involuntary decline with respect to the total body weight especially the ones living at home. Such health depreciation may amount to deleterious effects on the overall functionality and the quality of life if these adults. Diverse and dynamic psychological, physical and social conditions as well as other health related concerns can lead to weight loss. However, with the vulnerability of their age, it is not quite easy to obtain a probable cause to their health deterioration. This paper makes a critical review on the prevalence and incidences of weight loss amongst the elderly, the overall impact of morbidity and mortality rate as well as a clinical approach to diagnosis and interventions.
Unintentional weight loss is prevalent amongst the elderly and is in most cases associated with progressive disability, increased mortality and substantial and adverse health outcomes. The diagnosis aside from being associated with underlying illness, it has recently been established that nutritional deficiency as a result if eating disorders is a significant contributory factor. The most common interventional procedure to curb weight loss amongst older adults is checking them into a care facility equipped with health experts and professionals who have adequate knowledge on adult care. The most pertinent approach towards dealing with weight loss among the elderly is through the inception of high-energy or rather protein oral supplements in between their scheduled meals so as to significantly control their eating disorders and consequently increase their daily nutritional intake.
The older adult population is more vulnerable as compared to diverse and dynamic age groups. Their immune system tends to decrease drastically as age goes by. The average population of the elderly, especially more than 80 years of age need utmost care. This phase is the same to that when one was taking care of a child. Each and every aspect of their lives is of great significance. One of the most paramount issues that need to be taken into consideration for a person at this age is to ensure that their health is paramount. It is for this reason that a substantive number of families across the globe have resorted to checking the elderly care facility which will monitor and adequately take care of the older adults. An environment such as a care facility could be of great help on the overall health of the adult patient.
Adult Care Facilities
Adult care facilities ensure that nutritional assessments on the adult care patients ought to be mandated and reviewed overtime. Statistics indicate nutritional health with respect to the older adults deteriorates as age goes by and is mostly experienced by older adults still living at home. With the increasing prevalence of weight loss amongst these adults admitting one in a care facility will aid in increasing the overall health condition. Most families ignore the fact that this demographic group still needs utmost care from their families and loved ones. Weight loss amongst the elderly occurs surreptitiously and insidiously and it is important to recognize this at an earlier stage and consequently learn how to care for these ageing patients. The insidious weight loss experienced by the elderly occurs as a result of multiple other causes that are associated with the unintentional weight loss that is normal with the ageing process.
Further, the underlying behavioral and psychological concerns that can result to geriatric health can infiltrate the normal lives and health of the elderly and issues and progress might go undetected by the patient’s family, the patient’s themselves, their caregiver’s etc. may lead to adverse health conditions. In addition, weight loss amongst the elderly, whether voluntary or involuntary, is known as a significant factor in the predisposition of muscle wasting, depression, increased susceptibility and vulnerability to various diseases and disorders, diminished immune-competence etc. Care facilities are better placed in helping older adults deal with weight loss especially the fact that they have a better understanding of the nutritional pattern among the elderly, factors that greatly contribute to weight loss among this demographic group, strategies and mechanisms for dealing with the issues and the nutritional value in this vulnerable patient population.
Over the past few years, weight loss was more prevalent among adults and teenagers; however, more recently, the issue has been increasingly identified and detected within the geriatric population (older adults). Indeed weight loss as a result of nutritional depletion amongst the adults has increased to a significant level that that it has become amongst the highest contributors to elderly death. Some of the factors that have been enlisted to have affected feeding habits of elderly include; changes in food taste and smell, memory and cognitive impairment, incompletely attended to psychological concerns, feeling of isolation, lack of communication etc. Unfortunately, eating habits at individual homes are more often overlooked as opposed to when an adult is at a care center.
An older adult at a care facility is subjected o physical and health routine check up by either an assigned physician or care giver with the main aim of establishing a detailed dietary history to discover whether the adults have been undertreated or are malnourished. Moreover it has been established that a significant percentage of adults aged more than 80 years have substantially impaired gustatory sense with regard to taste and smell. In addition, the production of saliva is greatly reduced at this age making it had for one to ingest food as a result of thick secretions, poor oral as well as dental hygiene, dry mouth etc. poorly fitting dentures, absence of teeth and carries is also a significant inhibition leading to diminished and impaired food intake.
On the other hand, issues such as Dysphagia-a swallowing disorder mostly experienced by older adults is a great contributor towards decreased food intake that consequently affects the health and overall well being of the adults. Other gastrointestinal issues also affect a significant percentage of the adult population leading to reflux, poor nutritional intake and indigestion. The differential health diagnosis with respect to weight loss amongst the older adults in most cases is extensive. The cause of weight loss with respect to ambulatory patients is distinct from the ones that are placed under care facilities. In a particular survey mandated on the problem statement, it was established that most of the elderly adults under a care facility are depressed with unintentional weight loss. In addition, it was established that being at the bottom of the socioeconomic level as well as functional disability amongst older adults at home is a significant contributor of unintentional weight loss in adult patients.
Interventional mechanisms aimed at reducing involuntary weight loss amongst the patients ought to be directed at the causative factors. In as much as the work up is proceeding, the main intention of engaging an older adult within a care facility is to ensure that the prevalence of weight loss amongst this group is greatly suppressed. An early initiation and mechanism of nutritional support will help in minimizing and consequently avoiding weigh loss related complications. Of great concern is the fact that a good number of older adults have contemplated suicide. This surreptitious occurrence has for a long time been neglected by clinicians and health professionals. What is more is the fact that at times, older adults tend to starve themselves as part of committing ‘silent suicide’. Studies show that most of those who contemplate such are the ones who are depressed, confined to an institutional facility etc.
Solutions towards minimizing as well as avoiding weight loss amongst the elderly can be formulated rationally. It is important that these people receive all the support they can get. It is important to consider the wishes of the adults in relation to whether they want to stay at home or confined at a care center. Forcing one to do what they do not want has been cited as a probable cause for them to try and commit silent suicide. As aforementioned, weight loss amongst these groups of people is in most cases unintentional. Most of them are faced with health issues that have significant affects on their overall feeding habits. At this point in life, their preference and taste towards food tends to shift. They begin having a dislike towards certain kinds of food and prefer others. It is important that if a family wishes to take care if the elderly patient at home, to visit a health care nutritionist to guide them accordingly on what and when to prepare healthy food to the elderly.