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Signs of malnutrition for nursing home patients

The vast majority of nursing homes in South Carolina are safe places for elderly citizens to live. However, there are always a few bad residences no matter what state you are in. Numerous complications can arise in patients due to abuse or neglect, and one of the most common for nursing home residents is malnutrition

When family members visit a loved one in a nursing home, they should keep an eye out for any signs something is not right. The nursing home resident may not feel comfortable divulging such information for fear of upsetting the family. Therefore, it is up to family members and friends to watch out for common symptoms of malnutrition. 

Weight loss

Failure to eat adequately can result in a nursing home resident losing 10 percent of body mass within a few months. Family members should also be wary if a loved one now has a BMI of under 18.5. The most apparent sign that a loved one has not eaten enough is that clothes and belts will appear looser over time. With this in mind, it is critical to remember that someone can become malnourished without losing any weight. That is why it is vital to look out for several different signs. 

Other symptoms

You should take your loved one to a doctor immediately if you suspect he or she has any health problems. Common symptoms of malnutrition include:

  • Depression or low moods
  • Feeling cold a majority of the time
  • Drop in concentration
  • Wounds take longer than average to heal
  • Illnesses take a longer time to recover from
  • Feeling weaker or tired most of the time
  • Lack of interest in eating or drinking
  • Reduced appetite

Malnutrition can lead to numerous chronic health problems if it does not receive treatment right away. The long-term effects of malnutrition include a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and obesity. 


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