What are some signs of malnutrition and hunger at nursing homes?

On Behalf of | Sep 18, 2023 | Nursing Home Injuries |

Ensuring that residents in nursing homes receive proper nutrition is paramount for their overall health and well-being. It is also important to be aware of what may indicate hunger among nursing home residents in particular.

Knowing these warning signs of malnutrition could give you more insight when talking with your loved one.

Unexplained weight loss and complaints

A noticeable and unexplained drop in a resident’s weight is a significant indicator of health issues. Regular monitoring of residents’ weight is important in identifying malnutrition. When residents frequently express their hunger or dissatisfaction with meals, it is a clear signal that they may not be receiving adequate amounts of food.

Fatigue and physical weaknesses

Malnutrition and hunger can lead to a decrease in energy levels. If residents become increasingly fatigued or weak, they may not have the proper amount of food regularly.

Look out for symptoms such as brittle nails, hair loss and muscle weakness, as they can indicate a lack of essential nutrients in their diet.

Decline in cognitive function

Malnutrition can affect cognitive function, leading to memory problems and difficulty concentrating. If a resident experiences sudden cognitive changes, they may struggle with inadequate nutrition.

Frequent illnesses

A weakened immune system due to malnutrition can result in residents falling ill more frequently. An increase in infections or illnesses can be a sign of underlying nutritional issues.

Medication interactions

Some medications can suppress appetite. If a resident is taking such medications, close monitoring of their food intake is essential.

By the year 2030, the number of Americans 65 and older will be 1 out of 5 people. With an ever-increasing amount of people aging and going into nursing homes, malnutrition may become more common. If you suspect that a loved one in a nursing home is experiencing malnutrition or hunger, it is important to communicate your concerns with the facility’s staff to ensure proper care and support.