Jul 22, 2018
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Weight Changes and Nutritional Challenges in the Elderly

As we age it is normal for our appetites to become decreased. Aging results in a decrease in physical activity and metabolic rate. However, residents in long term care facilities who continue to lose weight can be at a higher mortality rate. According to the Annals of Long-Term Care; physiologic, pathologic, psychologic, and sociologic factors … [ Read More ]

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Ethical Considerations of Nutrition Support

Meeting estimated nutritional needs and providing adequate nutrition and hydration for all residents can, at times, be a difficult challenge not only for the resident but also for the interdisciplinary team. Ethical considerations of starting and stopping artificial nutrition must be considered in the best interest of the resident. Despite the evidence outlining indications for … [ Read More ]

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Dysphagia: Causes and Treatment Plans

Dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing, affects up to 15 million adults in the United States and if not diagnosed and treated, can result in aspiration pneumonia, malnutrition, dehydration, weight loss, and breathing problems. Those who have had strokes, who have neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, who have or had head and neck cancer, and the … [ Read More ]

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Depression and Nutritional Concerns

The most common causes of resident weight loss in nursing homes are depression and adverse drug effects, which are rarely identified. Prevalence studies have suggested that an estimated 40% of elderly residents in long-term care facilities experience depression. Our growing population continues to age, and so it is expected that the number of elderly suffering … [ Read More ]

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Modified Diet Consistencies

Dysphagia is the medical term used for difficulty swallowing. Signs and symptoms of dysphagia include having pain when swallowing, drooling, being horse, not being able to swallow, coughing or gagging when swallowing, regurgitation and frequent heartburn. The two types of Dysphagia are Esophageal, the sensation of food being “stuck” in your throat,            and Oropharyngeal, weakened … [ Read More ]

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Kidney Disease and Diet Restrictions

When a renal diet is ordered, just what does this mean?  In long term care, the restrictions are liberalized.  It is first important to find out if the resident is receiving dialysis or not. The renal diet may be interpreted as general with no added salt and possibly low potassium. A low potassium diet generally … [ Read More ]

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Fortifying and Enhancing Foods

In long term care, we are often working with elderly residents who unfortunately feel like eating is a chore. It is quite common for an elderly person to have a decreased or poor appetite as they age. But nursing homes must be creative in offering foods to their residents who have diminished food intake. Some … [ Read More ]

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Accurate Weight Measurements

Accuracy with weight measurements is essential for residents in the long-term care setting.  Weight measurement is used to calculate energy, protein and fluid needs. It is used as an indicator of nutritional and health status and changes in weight can often indicate other medical changes.  Inaccurate weight measurements can result in an increased number of … [ Read More ]

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When supplements should be considered for a resident

Knowing when to order supplements and when to refrain can be a challenge. Supplements may be a helpful intervention for inadequate intake and weight loss, but can also be costly, ineffective, and potentially harmful if used improperly. Keep the following guidelines in mind when considering the use of a supplement. When to Order: According to … [ Read More ]

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Lab Results and Therapeutic Diets

Labs can give healthcare professionals clues about the resident/patient’s condition and can help guide further tests or treatment.   Blood is drawn and the results are reported as numbers which are compared to a reference range or “normal” values.  The results either fall into the reference range or might be above or below the range.  Healthcare … [ Read More ]

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