Disturbing malnutrition levels of nearly 50% of seniors in Magallanes

08-11-2013. Categories:
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Due to physical difficulties associated to an advanced age, bad feeding habits and an absence of a supportive network watching after their needs, previous to be institutionalized, 50% of the users of the Seniors’ Long Stay Establishment (Eleam) functioning at Hornillas street, show serious malnutrition problems.

Specialists outline care is mostly paid to children and youngsters, setting aside studies of the third age population.

With a capacity for 70 users, Eleam of Punta Arenas has 57 older adults under their care now,  observing  several malnutrition cases, generally, a situation they bring from their homes, said the facility’s nutrionist Montserrat Aguila Calisto to the Austral Press, explaining that “a reality we must face is that when grannies are already institutionalized they are more likely to lose weight.”

The professional stated this is a close relation because even the pleasant and protected environment, they are sharing life with people who are not family and in a place that is not home. “These conditions may phsychologically affect the users besides pathologies suffered by each of them when they were admitted to the facility that is why we must keep a close care for their needs and help them to have a better quality of life,” she said.

Montserrat regretted the fact most of them arrive confined to a bed and in these conditionos, the older adults develop a swallowing problem.

“We can not give them solid foods and they are fed with puree. Our work is to add food suplements, vitamins to help them, but a puree can not supply a normal feeding,” she assured.

49% of the adults face a nutritional risk, with a great weight loss and ill-fed, said the nutritionist.

The professionals’ work at the center is complemented with a blood test and constant evaluations of the users’ health status to modify cares and feeding plans in a personalized way to help them to gain the lost nutrients due to malnutrition and other risky behaviors.”Being ill-fed eases diseases to worsen or those who are healthy to get sick  

Problems through the years

Recalling most of the older adults’ pathologies are a problem they bring with them for decades, Montserrat said “there are no studies at least reliable ones to the present, about the older adults. Everything is focused in youngsters and children in women and other sectors. Older adults are left behind.”

With changes in modern society, life expectancy of persons has greatly  increased and Magallanes as a region, is the most aged for the last years.  “We live more now thus we should be ready,” citing as an example there are people who suffer cardiovascular accidents at 50 years, due to their routine and feeding, et al and end up confined to a bed. That is why the idea of getting ready through feeding is a fact. To get old healthier.

Tips for all   

Suggestions are always the same, said Montserrat, we need to have two liters of water during the day, avoid fat, salts and sugar, since with age the sense acuteness is lost and it is very common old people to have excess of these foods. A healthy feeding is related to fruits, vegetables in spite of the fact we people in Magallanes are not used to have them in spite of being cheaper than before.

The expert added, “it is vital for the family to play an important role in the older adults’ feeding, they usually receive a low pension and are unable to make a balanced menu or organize an adequate diet.”

Source: La Prensa Austral.cl

At: http://www.laprensaaustral.cl/cronica/preocupantes-niveles-de-desnutrici...