The Impact of Nutrition on the Frail Elderly - A Literature Study

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Institutionen för folkhälso- och vårdvetenskap; Uppsala universitet/Institutionen för folkhälso- och vårdvetenskap

Abstract: ABSTRACT Background: The population of elderly people is an expanding group with an average life expectancy far exceeding that of only several decades ago. This increased number of older adults is a direct result of improved medical improvements, but it has also created a group vulnerable to the decline of bodily functions, diminished physical strength and poor quality of life. They are susceptible to poor nutrition and frailty that can lead to ill health and poor quality of life that ultimately imposes a strain on the health care system and its resources. It is key that effective intervention be established to reverse the negative impacts on the elderly and reduce the growing expenses related to frailty and malnutrition in these older individuals. Purpose: The purpose of this literature study was to demonstrate the value of nutrition for older adults with specific focus on preventing or reducing the incidence of frailty. Method: The method used to write this paper was a literature study based on quantitative original articles. Results: It is important that the elderly maintain good nutrition including; an appropriate amount of protein, an adequate amount of total caloric intake and a diet that will prevent the onset of malnutrition that could otherwise lead to frailty. Diets with an increased amount of protein can help reduce the incidence of frailty or prevent further decline in the state of existing frailty. The prevention of malnutrition through good nutrition including a sufficient amount of daily caloric intake it integral in preventing frailty. Conclusion: This research demonstrates that good nutrition is integral for mature adults over the age of 60 years of age. It is vital that this group of individuals have a sufficient amount of protein in their daily diet, that their overall caloric intake is at an appropriate level and that good nutrition is maintained in order to avoid malnutrition that could further decline to a state of frailty. It is important to prevent malnutrition that can lead to frailty and promote good nutrition that can lead to a good quality of life for older adults. Key Words: frailty, prevention, nutrition, protein, intervention, nutritional status

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