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Malnutrition Among The Elderly : Malnutrition

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Malnutrition in the Elderly
The general objective of this research paper is to increase awareness about a mostly hidden epidemic among the elderly. Studies show one in every two older people are at risk for malnutrition. (Drewnowski & Evans, 2001) Findings also show that hunger among the elderly is an enormous, far-reaching problem found in places across the globe, but the United States seems to be an unlikely place to find starvation where food is plentiful. Consequently, because of ineffective intervention, older adults are slowly starving to death in their homes, as well as independent living situations, nursing homes, and hospitals alike. It seems despite malnutrition being a preventable condition, the prevalence of the problem has
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(Drewnowski & Evans, 2001)
By 2025, the number of older adults is projected to reach more than 1.2 billion. (World Health Organization, 2017) Even further, the prevalence of malnutrition in the elderly is less than 1% in those who are self-determining and healthy. Estimates for other groups are 25% in the overall community populace of elderly, 23% to 85% of nursing home residents, and 33% to 55% in those hospitalized. (Ennis, Saffel-Shrier, & Verson, 2001)
Even so, there are others aged 65 and older who are at increased risk for malnutrition as well because they cannot afford to eat properly; therefore, they are unable to meet the recommended daily dietary requirements needed to fight off diseases and sickness. Coupled with older adults who are socially isolated, suffering from depression or trauma who just do not have the desire to eat. An increase in social interaction at meal times improves dietary intake in the elderly. (Chen, Schilling, & Lyder, 2001) There are others that use multiple prescription and nonprescription drugs that may be unknowingly suppressing their appetites as a side effect of the medications; these people may not even be aware that they are possibly starving themselves to death. There is another estimated 85% of Americans age 65 and older with one or more chronic disease that may benefit from a nutritional intervention accomplishing a reduction
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