Symptoms and Causes of Malnutrition in the Elderly

Are you wondering if your elderly loved one is malnourished? Maybe, you don’t see them eating very often or it just seems they have lost a lot of weight or they are sick often? No matter what the case may be, if you are worried about this, there are some symptoms that you and home care providers should be looking for in your elderly loved one that may signify malnutrition.

Malnutrition Symptoms/Signs

Home Care Sebastopol CA - Symptoms and Causes of Malnutrition in the Elderly

Home Care Sebastopol CA – Symptoms and Causes of Malnutrition in the Elderly

If you are wondering whether your elderly loved one is malnourished, there are some symptoms/signs of malnourishment that you should watch out for. Some of these include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Irritability
  • Ongoing infections
  • Lack of energy
  • Tiredness
  • Cuts and wounds take a long time to heal
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Brittle or dry hair and skin
  • Unhealthy looking skin

If you or home care providers recognize these signs/symptoms in your elderly loved one and you find out they aren’t eating well, make sure they see a doctor. The doctor may refer them to a nutritionist or another professional. Hopefully, all the help they are getting can treat their malnourishment.

Causes of Malnourishment in Senior Citizens

Why are there so many senior citizens who struggle with malnourishment? Well, the truth is there are numerous causes for this health issue in the elderly. Some of the most common causes that you should be aware of include the following:

  • Changes in appetite, smell, and taste (make it tough to keep regular eating habits alive)
  • Difficulty swallowing and/or chewing (poor dental health can cause this and the issue can make it tough to eat properly)
  • Dementia or other neurodegenerative conditions (forget to eat, don’t buy groceries enough, or confused about what to eat or how to cook)
  • Medication (there are many medicines that cause a lack of appetite or an odd taste in the mouth that makes it difficult for senior citizens to eat at all)
  • Restricted diet (if your elderly loved one has certain things they aren’t able to eat due to a health condition, they may be stubborn and avoid eating altogether or only limit the amount of food they eat)
  • Not socializing enough (some senior citizens want to eat around other people and if your elderly loved one doesn’t have this they may not eat well at all)

Do you think that your elderly loved one has any of these things going on? If so, it could be the one thing that is causing their malnutrition. If these things are happening, you and home care providers can work with your elderly loved one to change them, so they can finally start eating better again.

Knowing the Signs and Symptoms for You and Home Care Aides

These are some of the symptoms and causes of malnutrition in the elderly. Now that you are aware of this information, you can recognize if this is happening to your elderly loved one. You can also find out the cause and what to do about it, as well.


If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring Home Care Services in Sabastopol CA, call At Your Service Home Care.  Call today! (707) 573-1003

Senior Home Care in Santa Rosa, Sonoma, Napa, & Marin Counties

Emily Sloma