Dec 12, 2017
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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is an umbrella term used to describe progressive lung diseases including emphysema, chronic bronchitis, refractory (non-reversible) asthma, and some forms of bronchiectasis (1,2). This disease is characterized by increasing breathlessness. (1,2) People with emphysema are referred to as “pink puffers” and experience shortness of breath due to a loss of … [ Read More ]

Unintended Weight Loss in the Elderly

Unexplained weight loss, or losing weight without trying, particularly if it’s significant or persistent, may be a sign of an underlying medical disorder (1).  The point at which unexplained weight loss becomes a medical concern is not exact. But many doctors agree a loss of approximately 5 to 10 percent of body weight in the … [ Read More ]


The pancreas is a large gland behind the stomach and close to the duodenum, and has two different jobs.  One is that it contains the islets of Langerhans that secrete insulin and glucagon.  The other primary role of the pancreas is the creation of digestive enzymes that it secretes into the small intestine.  Pancreatitis is … [ Read More ]

Malnutrition and the Elderly

Malnutrition used to be an unknown, or a “skeleton in the hospital closet” per 1974 article that found several instances of nutritional neglect in hospitals by physicians (1).   Butterworth pointed out that changes in practice were urgently needed to properly identify and treat undernourished patients (1).  In the past 40 years, nutrition information has changed … [ Read More ]

Dysphagia Diets

The National Dysphagia Diet (NDD), was published in 2002 by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, to establish standard terminology for dietary texture modification in dysphagia management.  It proposes the classification of foods according to eight textural properties, and anchor foods to represent points along continuum for each property (1). A hierarchy of diet levels … [ Read More ]

Parenteral Nutrition

IV nutrition doesn’t have to be scary or intimidating.  “Parenteral” means introduced otherwise than by way of the intestines by the Webster dictionary.    Parenteral Nutrition (PN) is the way to provide a steak, potato, and cheesecake into someone’s blood stream.   Due to new knowledge and technological advances, parental nutrition is used less often than previously … [ Read More ]

Nutrition’s Role in Wound Care

As bodies age, organs do not always function as well as they once did. The skin, which is the largest organ of the body, is no exception.  Skin integrity can be compromised by vascular deficiencies, decreased mobility and ability to reposition weight, uncontrolled blood sugars, dehydration and malnutrition, and other comorbidities that come with advancing … [ Read More ]

Care Plans Made Easy

The care planning process in long term care can seem like a daunting task as the care plans must be individualized and follow state and federal regulations as well as current standards of practice but also be user friendly.  The more the individual is kept in focus, however, the easier the mission becomes.  Care plans … [ Read More ]

Electronic Medical Charting for the Dietitian

Paper medical charts are becoming a thing of the past in many facilities. While there are still facilities that may be using an actual chart to hold all the resident’s medical information, many are converting or are already “paper-less”. Electronic medical charting has many benefits for the dietitian and has become a welcome change! One … [ Read More ]

Kidney disease and diet restrictions

When a renal diet is ordered, just what does this mean?  In long term care, the restrictions are liberalized.  The diet may be interpreted as general (or regular), no added salt with a limit of 1 cup/day, high protein, low potassium which means no oranges, orange juice, bananas, tomato/prune juice or baked potato.  Also, a … [ Read More ]

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