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Signs and Symptoms of Malnutrition
Jan 29, 2023

The Warning Signs and Symptoms of Malnutrition Among Elderly People to Look Out For

When your loved ones enter one of the later stages in their lives, it is then that they need to be taken care of the most. You will almost always have to keep track of their diet because senior citizens stand a higher chance of contracting ailments such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Dementia or Amnesia. A reduction in appetite is common among the elderly, however, they must still consume enough food to meet their minimum nutritional requirements. Failure to do so can cause malnutrition, which can indirectly lead to the aforementioned ailments. Although you can always choose senior citizen health insurance plans that take care of their medical expenditure, it is best to avoid such scenarios. This article will shed light on the signs of malnutrition that you must look for so that you don’t have to rely on your health insurance plans to come to your rescue. Read on to know more.

Prolonged weakness

It is normal for a senior citizen to become weak over time due to loss of muscle mass, vitality, and a reduction in appetite. Such things are inevitable, but there is an acceptable pace for it. If your elderly parent or relative is persistently complaining about weakness and is often falling sick, there is a good chance that they are not getting adequate nutrition. All of this can be controlled with the help of a healthy diet plan.

Abnormal lack of appetite

As we mentioned before, the loss of appetite amongst the elderly is not uncommon, but a drastic loss of the same could be a sign of malnutrition. They may give up on their favourite foods because of factors such as hypertension or even depression. If that is the case, it is upon you to get them back on track.

Feeling perpetually cold

Unless you are living in a region that is constantly subjected to low temperatures, senior citizens often feeling cold is a dead giveaway sign of malnutrition. They may feel chilly all the time due to a lack of a healthy amount of fat under their skin. This could have been directly caused by a sudden drop in their appetite and the resulting weight loss. If this is the scenario, you will have to ensure that they get all the nutrients essential for their body so that they could gradually come out of this concerning situation.

Fatigue and Irritability

Feeling a sense of fatigue and being constantly irritated are inevitable in old age. But it could also very well be a sign of malnutrition. The physique of a senior citizen needs a constant dose of vitamins, especially vitamin D, to stay healthy and strong. If they do not get the required nutrients, it will surely spell disaster for them. Hence, you must ensure that they get all the nutrition they need at their age.

Slow recovery from an illness

If your elderly parents/relatives are falling sick and taking much longer than usual to recover, that too could be a sign of malnutrition. The human body, in general, takes time to recover from any ailment if there are not enough vitamins, minerals, and proteins. The lack of the same could be directly attributed to the deficiency in their daily macro and micro-nutrient consumption. Thus, if you notice these signs, you might want to consult a good dietician and chalk out a diet plan accordingly.

What Can You Do To Prevent Malnutrition Along With A Healthy Diet Plan?

Besides a diet plan, it is important that your elders engage in some physical activities and attend social events. Loneliness could cause depression, and the resultant depression could cause a lack of interest in anything and everything, including food, thereby resulting in malnutrition. Additionally, it would be a good idea to get them engaged in some kind of hobby. In parallel, it is a good idea to get your loved ones a senior citizen health insurance policy, because you never know what life can throw at them. Either you can go for any of the senior citizen health insurance schemes by the government of India, or you can look at what Bajaj Allianz offers. At Bajaj Allianz, you can find some of the best health insurance plan options for senior citizens at relatively cost-effective premium rates. This way, you will also be able to cover any medical expenditures of your senior-citizen parents. You can also get them customised as per the needs of the elderly you are getting insured. Note that the insurance coverage best for the concerned person will be offered after taking their health and medical history into account. Insurance is the subject matter of solicitation. For more details on benefits, exclusions, limitations, terms, and conditions, please read the sales brochure/policy wording carefully before concluding a sale.        

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