The demand for food in each age group will vary. Often, the elderly eat less than usual. Family members often understand that it is normal for the elderly to have physical degeneration. This misunderstanding is a starting point that may cause the elderly to be overlooked about the importance of nutrition, which results in malnutrition. Important causes that cause nutritional deficiencies in the elderly are
- Changes in the gastrointestinal system that function as it decreases with increasing age, including
- The tooth is lost; therefore, it is necessary to wear dentures that make inconvenience in chewing food.
- Salivary glands produce reduced saliva. Resulting in worse digestion, especially starchy foods.
- With a dry tongue mouth, Reduced taste perception because the taste buds have decreased.
The above issue causes the elderly to become more anorexic. Together with decreased gastric acid secretion, therefore, remaining in the stomach for longer, therefore the elderly feel less hungry.
- Side effects of medication.
When the elderly have congenital disease conditions which causing continuous treatment. Medication is important and it is hard to avoid. Elderly medications may have side effects that interfere with digestion and absorption of nutrients in the body. Especially the elderly with many chronic illnesses causing many types of drugs to be used together, it makes more at risk of adverse effects from medication on nutritional than the teenagers.
- Health problems.
Especially chronic diseases Found that most of the elderly 69.3% are ill with at least 1 chronic disease per person and at least 70% are ill with many chronic diseases together. It is causing the elderly to have dietary restrictions such as chronic kidney failure that must reduce eating salty foods. Diabetic patients should have to reduce sugary foods, fried or fatty foods, etc. These restrictions may cause the elderly to eat food less because the taste has changed from the original one. It can reduce eating.
- Psychological problems.
It is a reason that should not be overlooked nowadays. The elderly tend to live alone, lost a partner or lack of care from grandchildren making the elderly depression, bored, and eating less, together with lack of assistance in food preparation to suit the physical condition and needs of the elderly.
- Economic issues.
Since the majority of the elderly do not work. Sometimes lacking income, which makes the cause of the ability to buy good nutritious food to eat, so the elderly choose to eat lower quality food according to their income.
Therefore according to the above factors, That makes when the elderly lack nutrients, it will cause many negative effects on health We should be especially careful with the nutritional problems of the elderly.
Next time I will take the advice from the experts about the care of the nutrition of the elderly.