"... The pleasure of eating is for all ages, all conditions, all countries and all days; it can be associated with all other pleasures, and remains the last to comfort us for their loss..."
The challenge of ensuring protein-energy support for elderly people
The prevalence of malnutrition is high in geriatric institutions, where more than 70% of the inhabitants of the institute have moderate risks of severe malnutrition.
For 30% to 61% of them a protein-energy malnutrition is diagnosed. This generates a loss of muscle mass which can be responsible for inability to perform daily activities and a loss of autonomy among the elderly.
In the geriatric institutions, nutritional problems are predominant due to age and dietary handicaps as well as the many present pathologies and the number of ingested drugs. The causes of malnutrition observed in health establishments are medical but also equally logistical and organizational. Pathologies induce a change of nutritional needs among residents and patients who often cannot adapt due to inadequate diet and schedules, or even due to a non-existent (or too brief) assistance with eating.
Among residents in EHPAD (nursing home), the lack of appetite multiplies the risk of malnutrition by a factor of 8.
The Consequences of Malnutrition
- Delayed wound healing and trophic disorders
- Decrease in mass and muscle strength
- Central & peripheral neurological impairments as well as intellectual function troubles
- Endocrine disorders
- Effect on the blood lines
- Change in the drugs’ pharmacokinetics
- Increase in morbidity and mortality
- Decrease in quality of life
- Increase in the costs inherent to pathology treatments
of seniors in an institution suffer from dementia
of the elderly have Alzheimer’s
of these people have eating behaviour disorders
of the residents of an institution have swallowing and chewing disorders
of the residents in an E.H.P.A.D eat with their fingers
Nutrition according to your resident’s health
The intake capacity of a person in volume per day (excluding sauce) varies depending on their health status:
- For a healthy person: 0.800 kg to 1.000 kg
- For a senior in E.H.P.A.D: 0,600 kg to 0, 700 kg
- For a senior in E.H.P.A.D with enriched diet: 0,500 kg
Effectiveness of food with high micro-nutrient density
Intensify the effectiveness of food with high micro-nutrient density: The food contains nutrients (proteins, lipids, carbohydrates), which provide energy (calories). They also contain micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, oligo-elements, polyphenols, fibre, water…).
It is necessary to focus on the micronutrient-rich foods to offer the elderly a “high micro-nutrient density” diet. The food supply will increase the micro nutritional density, by providing fruits, vegetables, unprocessed foods, fresh or frozen products, as well as unrefined products such as rice or wholemeal bread, and on a daily basis.
The challenge in dealing with malnutrition and to guarantee an adequate diet for the elderly is combined with the necessity to pay greater attention to quality and quantity of proteins.
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