When your loved one needs more care than you can provide, it can be overwhelming and stressful. You may be confident in your decision to place them in a nursing home, but you still worry about the care they will receive.
One of the challenges is that you are not there to supervise the care your loved one receives. You have to count on reports from the staff and what you can observe when you visit.
These are some of the signs you should watch for that your friend or family member is not receiving the nutrition they need.
While you may look for weight loss as a sign of malnutrition, noticing a change may take a while. An earlier indication of malnutrition is a decreased appetite.
The challenge with linking a decreased appetite to malnutrition is that your loved one (or the staff) may attribute the change to getting used to the food served in the nursing home. Unfortunately, the less your loved one eats, the smaller their appetite will become.
Tiredness or irritability
Food is an essential biological need. When your loved one is not getting the nutrition they need, their body will try to compensate by using fewer resources and sleeping.
As your friend or family member becomes more malnourished, they may become irritable.
The consequences are steep
Malnourishment can have a devastating effect on your loved one’s health. You may notice other side effects, such as:
- Inability to heal
- Increased illness
Malnutrition is a serious condition, especially for people with other health conditions. You will need to advocate for your loved one to get the medical support they need to treat their malnutrition.