Often people with COPD do focus on their health. They know what it’s like to experience trouble with something that they take for granted, like breathing. But a surprising number of people who have COPD are malnourished.
Why Does it Happen?
Malnutrition and COPD go hand in hand, but most people are shocked to learn this. Your senior’s body burns calories just by doing all of the normal activities that it does, like breathing. For people with COPD, it’s really difficult to breathe. This means that it takes more energy for your elderly family member to breathe than it does for you to breathe.
What Does Malnutrition Look Like?
If your elderly family member is malnourished, he might start losing weight without meaning to at all. He may have low energy levels and feel tired all the time. He might even start to experience dizziness, even if that’s never been a problem for him before. Another big problem that springs from malnutrition is that your elderly family member’s immune system can suffer, which makes him more susceptible to lung infections.
The Vicious Cycle
Malnutrition and COPD form a vicious circle with each other. The COPD makes breathing more difficult, which burns more calories, and then the malnourishment deprives your aging adult of the nutrients he needs to get more energy. Your elderly family member may not feel like eating when he’s having trouble breathing or he might choose foods that don’t give him the nutrients that he needs. This sets up a vicious cycle in which the COPD and the malnourishment make each other worse over time. You need to break the cycle.
Getting More Nutrients
Getting nutritionally-dense foods into your senior’s diet is where you need to be headed. The food needs to have plenty of calories, but those calories need to include vitamins and minerals that his body can use. Smaller, more frequent meals can help. If your senior finds cooking too tiresome or exhausting, hiring elder care providers is a solid answer. They can handle the difficult part and your senior can conserve his energy for eating.
To get a full picture of your senior’s nutritional needs, his doctor can do a complete series of tests. These tests can help determine whether supplementation is a good idea or what other options might be helpful. From there, you and your aging adult can develop a full plan that helps him to get the nutrition that he needs on a consistent basis.
If you or an aging loved one is considering hiring Senior Care in Mason, OH, please contact the caring staff at Queen City Elder Care today. Serving Cincinnati and Surrounding Communities. Call Us Today (513) 510-4410.
Michele Vollmer is a visionary leader who is perpetually searching for ways to improve, so to remain at the leading edge of the home care industry.She has served in the healthcare industry since 1989, including pharmaceutical and home health sales, as well as hospice sales and sales management.