OVERVIEW: Both physiologic and psychosocial changes affect the nutritional status of adults over the age of 65. Malnutrition is, in fact, a greater threat to this population than obesity. This article reviews the intake requirements of older adults and discusses the risk factors that can lead to malnutrition, including diet, limited income, isolation, chronic illness, and physiologic changes. Assessment and nursing interventions are also addressed.
Even in America, where obesity is on the rise, undernutrition and malnutrition are widespread in adults over the age of 65.
Rose Ann DiMaria-Ghalili is an associate professor of nursing, School of Nursing, West Virginia University, Charleston Division. She is also a research consultant to the Nursing Research Council at the Charleston Area Medical Center. Elaine Amella is an associate dean for research and an associate professor at the Medical University of South Carolina College of Nursing, Charleston. Contact author, Rose Ann DiMaria-Ghalili: email@example.com. This article is fifth in a series that’s supported in part by a grant from the Atlantic Philanthropies to the Gerontological Society of America. Nancy A. Stotts, EdD, RN, FAAN (firstname.lastname@example.org), a John A. Hartford scholar, and Carole E. Deitrich, MS, GNP, RN (email@example.com), are the series editors. The authors of this article have no significant ties, financial or otherwise, to any company that might have an interest in the publication of this educational activity.