Apr 20, 2018
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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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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 ]

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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 ]

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Pancreatitis

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 ]

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