Other Free Encyclopedias » Medicine Encyclopedia » Aging Healthy - Part 1 » Congregate and Home-Delivered Meals - Good Nutrition And Healthy Aging, Warning Signs Of Poor Nutritional Health, Help In Staying Healthy

Congregate and Home-Delivered Meals - Good Nutrition And Healthy Aging

nursing diet percent poor food

Good nutritional health is vital to healthy aging, and a proper diet provides the energy and nutrients the body and mind need. Experts agree that the risk for malnutrition is high among specific groups of elder Americans, especially those with inadequate income to purchase food, those who are isolated, and those who suffer from illness, disease, and other conditions affecting independence.

The dangers of poor nutrition have been well documented. Risks include: decreased life span, premature nursing home admission, increased disease incidence and chronic disability, increased hospitalization, and longer hospital stays. In addition to severe health problems, seniors who are malnourished are more likely to need home care or to be placed in an institution.

Community nutrition programs are a first line defense against hunger and can change older people's lives. The following list (Nutrition Screening Initiative; Older Americans 2000) shows why:

  • • Four out of five older adults have chronic diseases that are affected by diet.
  • • Only 13 percent of older adults eat the minimum amount of fruits and vegetables they need.
  • • Older persons living in poverty are nearly twice as likely to have a poor diet (21 percent) as those at or above the poverty level (11 percent).
  • • One of every five older people has trouble walking, shopping, and/or buying and cooking food, especially as they get older.
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