Australian nutritionists and health professionals claim a malnutrition crisis is looming over older Australians.
The latest figures from the Royal Commission showed that almost 2 per cent of hospitalisations are due to weight loss and malnutrition.
According to data from the Dietitians Association of Australia, it was a warning sign that nearly 4000 elderly Australians were hospitalised for weight loss and malnutrition in just 12 months. (Information source: SBS Chinese)
Symptoms of malnutrition:
- Lost 2.5kg to 5kg body weight in one month.
- Significantly reduced food intake, loss of appetite, mild nausea, vomiting, abdominal distension, etc. within a week.
- Chronic constipation or laborious defecation, diarrhoea, etc.
- Blood sugar fluctuations, and poor diet control.
- Difficulty swallowing, acid reflux, and heartburn.
- Osteoporosis, fatigue and easy to fall.
If the above situation occurs, please see a doctor for professional help.
There are many factors of malnutrition, ranging from health conditions and eating habits.
Factor 1: Caused by disease.
Factor 2: Tooth loss, decreased chewing and swallowing ability.
Factor 3: Uneven nutrition.
Factor 4: Unhappy mood, affecting your eating intake.
How a Home Care Package can help Seniors avoid Malnutrition.
At the initial stage of a Home Care Package (HCP) application, there will be 11 needs in the assessment.
A nutritional need is one of these. When an elderly person is assessed for their package as having a nutritional need, their HCP can offer help by:
1: Meal preparation by a support worker.
Support workers can prepare meals based on recommendations from doctors and dietitians.
For example, Grandma Lee is 160cm tall, weighs 45kg and is very thin. The doctor recommends more protein and meat intake.
Grandma Lee doesn’t like to eat red meat, so the support worker will make chicken, fish, and more soy products to increase Grandma Lee’s nutritional intake.
At Happy Living, you have the right to change your support worker at any time. You may use support workers recommended by your friends and family, but only if the support worker has qualified documents, such as up to date insurance and has received a criminal check.
Your HCP may cover the cost of a dietitian if the senior has experienced surgery, illness or unexpected weight change.
3: Care Manager and Clinical Team.
If you have received a HCP and have experienced an unexpected change in weight within a short period of time, please contact your Care Manager as soon as possible and they will report this to the Clinical Team.
The Clinical Team will reassess your care needs and update your Care Plan based on the advice of your doctor and dietitian.
The whole team will work on recovering your health care needs with our HCP care service.
You are welcome to contact Happy Living.
Our customer service number is 1300 911 728 (Mandarin, Cantonese, English).
We have many years of industry experience and look forward to helping you!