Learning the Crucial Components of an Anorexia Care Plan for Elders
Any Anorexia care plan for elders consists of a detailed assessment. Plus, many other activities that help to maintain the elder’s health. Anorexia is a common yet avoidable problem. You can define the condition as the loss of appetite or decreased intake of food in the elderly. While some of the factors that lead to these conditions seem genuine - for example, early satiation. There are other factors like financial crisis, depression, poor cooking skills, etc. as well. An eating disorder like anorexia nervosa can also be due to the genetics of the elder.
The consequence of anorexia in the elderly is poor nutrition, which can further lead to many ailments. An anorexia nursing care plan is thus needed. But first, we need to understand the essential factors that can cause anorexia in the elderly and how the treatment takes place. In general, anorexia care and support for an elder focuses on all the lifestyle, disease-related, social, and environmental factors. Because these are the most likely root cause for an elder’s anorexia condition.
The Important Elements of an anorexia care plan in Elders
Acute or chronic conditions, socio-economic problems, living alone, and being bedridden are some of the reasons why elders experience a loss of appetite. But, the resulting malnutrition can make things difficult. That's because their bodies are already weakening due to advancing age. That’s why it’s necessary to check the causes of the condition and work on the care of anorexia patients. The solution is what comes under the package of an anorexia nursing care plan. It all starts with an assessment done to check if the patient is suffering from malnutrition or not.
Assessment for Malnutrition
To start with, screening is necessary for all elder patients to check if they have the condition of anorexia. This screening takes into consideration all kinds of nutritional deficits. There’s no problem if the elder turns out to be well-nourished. But if they suffer from malnutrition or are at the risk of malnourishment, a further nutritional assessment takes place. This one section of anorexia care checks in detail all the metabolic, functional, and nutritional parameters that can play a role in anorexia. You must understand that if the elder has malnutrition, he is very likely to develop sarcopenia leading to many negative outcomes. That’s why a multi-stimulus intervention takes place to undo the malnutrition in the elder. And to help him become healthier by getting rid of the root factors that led him to the condition in the first place.
Some of the reasons why an elder is undergoing self-starvation can be chewing problems or swallowing difficulties. Their ill-fitted dentures may be limiting the amount and type of food they can eat. If they cannot chew properly, no matter how healthy food they eat, their body may not be able to extract all the nutrition from the food. Smell and taste also play a huge role. Experts say that the sense of smell and taste decreases with age. This means a person is less likely to enjoy any part of the food and thus crave more of it to fulfill their nutritional need. Smoking also affects the functionality of the taste buds. Additionally, there is a decline in saliva secretion, which makes the dissolving of foods difficult. Thus, making it tougher for the elder to extract the nourishment and even enjoy food. That’s why the first step to treating the condition of anorexia in elders is to enhance the flavor of the food, its texture, and palatability. There should be an increase in the variety of foods that the elder gets to eat as part of anorexia care. Also, the elder must get some assistance in eating if that’s required. You can make this possible with the help of an experienced and well-trained caregiver at Emoha. .
The social condition of an elder must get some attention if we need him to eat sufficiently. Many elders feel lonely and have no one to check if they have eaten their food or not. Sometimes loneliness leads to symptoms of depression, which creates further problems. Living alone also means that the elder is responsible for preparing the food. In some cases, he is also responsible for buying groceries and kitchen necessities. The elder, with that much burden and his weakening body, may prefer not to eat a meal or two if it feels less troublesome to him. That’s why another step of anorexia care in elders is environmental adaptation. As part of the care of anorexia patient, preventing social isolation and increasing friendliness is essential. Employing a cook and a caregiver to support the elder will be the right choice.
As part of the anorexia care and support in elders, it is essential to look at the medication that the elder is taking. Many drugs for specific diseases are known to cause weight loss with a loss of appetite. For instance, anti-rheumatic drugs, taken for conditions like autoimmune disorders like inflammatory bowel disease and other diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, cause a decrease in hunger. Cardiovascular drugs like amiodarone and psychiatric drugs like fluoxetine also can cause the same. So, an evaluation must get done to analyze if the medications are leading to anorexia in the elder. If yes, then the doctor must replace that medication with natural treatment or some drugs which do not affect the hunger of the patient.
Analyzing Other Medical Conditions
After checking which medications might be leading to loss of appetite, it is also crucial to see if they have any medical conditions which are causing the same. Problems like ulcers, dry mouth, and sores in the mouth, can be some causes. To add to that, pancreatic problems, gastritis, tooth problems, and gluten enteropathy, are some factors as well. Stroke with swallowing issues, hypercalcemia, depression, respiratory diseases, and cardiovascular problems can all contribute to decreasing the amount of hunger one feels. And may even lead to weight loss. If it is such an ailment that is the root cause of anorexia in the elder, then first, the disease should be treated to encourage the care of anorexia.
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Anorexia Care FAQs
The most common medical complications of anorexia in elders are cardiovascular problems.
Other complications include loss of bone/ osteoporosis, kidney failure, liver failure, and anemia. Heart failure, low blood sugar, constipation, and electrolyte imbalances, which cause vomiting are other complications. Bloating and gastrointestinal issues are common too.
Faintness, dizziness, pain in the abdomen, muscle weakness, dry skin, discoloration in skin, waking up too early in the morning. Plus, constipation, bloating, long and fine hair on the body and face are all symptoms of anorexia in the elder.
Yes, research suggests that anorexia does increase the mortality rate. Experts believe that anybody with anorexia has a five times greater risk of heading for heaven early. The reason behind this is not just this medical condition itself. But the other negative outcomes it can bring along with malnutrition in an elder’s body.
For many elders, anorexia may never subside completely. An anorexia nursing care plan thus tries to make the elder avoid the complications and maintain his health as much as possible.
The cost of an anorexia care plan is not much. You can mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 1800-123-445555 to know more about it.
You can contact Emoha at the toll-free number 1800-123-445555, and we’ll be happy to guide you more on this.