6 Effects of Poor Nutrition on Aging Adults

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Unhealthy eating habits can cause seniors to gain weight and increase their odds of being obese. Excessive weight causes the heart to pump harder and faster and puts seniors at higher risk for strokes, heart disease, heart attacks, and other serious health conditions. However, eating healthy foods and exercising could help your loved one shed excess pounds and maintain an ideal weight. 

Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them attain this goal. Families can trust elder care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living longer and healthier lives.


2. Vision Loss

Eye diseases may be aggravated due to low intake of antioxidants, lutein, protein, and vitamins. Eating healthy foods provides seniors with a variety of benefits, including the protection of healthy cells in the retina, protection against free radicals, and the repair of eye damage caused by intense light exposure or stress. If your loved one has poor nutrition, his or her risk of vision loss may increase, and in some instances, malnutrition can speed up cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration.


3. Vulnerability to Bacterial Infections

When your loved one has a low intake of minerals, vitamins, and protein, he or she may experience a reduction in the creation of white blood cells in the bone marrow. As a result, your loved one’s immune system may have difficulty identifying harmful bacteria and viruses. If your loved one has severe bacterial infections, it may be difficult for antibiotics to treat these issues. However, proper nutrition is a great way to boost the immune system and prevent various bacterial infections and viruses.


4. Weakened Joints & Muscles

If your loved one follows an unhealthy diet, he or she will likely have a low intake of calcium and protein. This could cause the bones to weaken, increasing his or her odds of developing arthritis or osteoporosis. Since your loved one may have poor bone structure and low bone density caused by aging, he or she needs to eat foods high in fiber, calcium, and protein to strengthen the muscles and increase flexibility. Poor nutrition could increase your loved one’s risk of slips, falls, and broken bones. 

If you have a senior loved one who needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of home care Arlington families can trust. Our caregivers help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and we offer mentally stimulating activities that can boost cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. 


5. Higher Risk of Cancer

Bad eating habits could lower the number of immune cells in the body, which is one of the reasons cancer is common among seniors with poor nutrition. By following a healthy diet, your loved one can reduce his or her risk of developing various types of cancer.


6. Memory Impairment

Poor nutrition could accelerate the loss of neurons in the brain, causing seniors to develop memory impairment. Eating healthy fats, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and other nutritious foods can clear the body of toxins that have a negative impact on the brain. If your loved one has a genetic predisposition to Parkinson’s disease, poor nutrition could be detrimental to his or her health. 

Families don’t always have the time or ability to meet their senior loved ones’ nutritional needs. If you need help making sure your loved one follows a nutritious diet, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Whether you need respite from your caregiving duties or your aging loved one needs live-in care, Arlington, VA, Assisting Hands Home Care can meet your family’s care needs. Our dedicated caregivers are available around the clock to provide transportation to doctor’s appointments, ensure seniors take their prescribed medications, and help with a variety of tasks in and outside the home. To learn about our high-quality in-home care options, give us a call today.