The factors that will affect elders from meeting up with their nutritional needs are as follows:Habits formed,Income,Transportation, Restaurants, Free food programs, Socialization, Accommodation,Advertisements, Psychological issues,Mechanical issues,and Osteoporosis
1.HABIT FORMED :Nutritional status depends on their eating habits and the present types of food habits. Most elders have already developed their eating patterns for years.These life long eating habit developed out of believe system, ethnicity, religion, tradition and culture. Stubbornness on food habits increases with age as foods selections are made.
Encourage the old adults to eat a variety of foods with fruits and vegetables and to have a balanced meal consistency with carbohydrates, proteins and fats. For example meat or fish or poultry, or sardines with bones,rice,potatoes, salad,vegetables ,collard green,kale are eaten on a daily basis
2. INCOME: Most elders have limited income, especially the non-white. With constant inflation, the purchasing power of elders have become very limited.Due to high cost of foods and limited income,it will lead to buying of foods with empty calories. Some elders eat once or twice a day so that their money will last till the end of the month. Careful budgeting is important to make sure that adequate nutrients are provided.
Bad eating habits and skipping meals will affect the nutritional value of the elderly.Avoid imposing malnutrition to yourself by eating foods that are less than 1200calories.Some more economical form of proteins that will help elders are baked beans with wheat bread, tortilla,potatoes and legume beans.And purchasing of food stamps might not be a great idea for aged people since it might be too expensive.
3.TRANSPORTATION:Most elders do not have means of transportation, so they rely on public transportation method to get to their destination. But they are worried that they might be mugged, fall,push aside or robbed.Even though their bus fare is reduced but they still do not trust what is going on out there to put themselves on the line. The use of lyft,tax,or uber remains unrealistic with their limited income.
4.RESTAURANTS: Cost of food in the restaurant might be too expensive for some elders on unlimited income. There are other food programs that seniors can depend on such as the food stamps,food on the wheels and Church feeding programs. All of these have one limitation or the other such as convenient, timing and transportation.
5. SOCIALIZATION : The idea of coming together to eat on the table, improve interaction among friends and families. But many aged individuals are forced to remain isolated from families and the rest of the world because of so many factors. When you eat alone you might lack interest in the food or you might eat too much.
Some elders will spend most of their time at the bars,so that they can interact with others. In an attempt to socialize they ended up spending their limited income in alcohol rather than good nutrients that their body need.
6. ACCOMMODATION: Sometimes due to poverty and difficult situation ,getting a decent accommodation will be almost impossible.
Aging and poverty will lead to living in a substandard housing and environment. Some of these people will live in a single room that has no access to kitchen or refrigerator, no space for food storage or making a nutritious balanced meals three times a day.
7.ADVERTISEMENT: Elders often fall prey on the claim that a particular food will make you young, fresh and vitality. And it will remove all chronic conditions. Some of these foods might have too much vitamins or no vitamins at all. Too much potassium can cause potassium toxicity, too much zinc can cause zinc toxicity, too much iron can cause iron toxicity. If you are depleted of vitamins, a balanced meals plan three times a day with proteins, carbohydrates and fats can take care of the deficiencies.
8.PSYCHOLOGICAL ISSUES: Some elderly people are depressed ,and have no desire for foods or to do anything. Other factors include loneliness, central nervous system depression, etoh abuse, loss of long-term partner and the removal from a familiar environment to unfamiliar environment. For example relocation of an aged grandfather from Afghanistan to USA,or from Ukraine to USA or from Nigeria to USA.No matter how great the new environment is, it will not be great for the aged people due to isolation, which leads to sedentary lifestyle which can lead to stroke.
9.MECHANICAL ISSUES: Some elders wear denture and those without denture have had some of their teeth removed and cannot chew hard fruits such as apples. Adequate intake of fiber is very important for elders but most older people do not get enough fiber in their diet. A well prepared beans soft and tasty can also be a great source of fiber and gentle with their teeth. 10. OSTEOPOROSIS: This is a common skeleton disorder that tend to affect mobility.Then there is arthritis which is debilitating and painful and the cause is due to the bone losing vitamin D and calcium. This can be supplemented through the intake of vitamin D and calcium.But if you have family history of kidney stones, consult with your doctor before taking the supplements. Malnutrition in older adults should be discouraged. Older adults should be encouraged and scheduled for physical examination, laboratory tests, Malnutrition test and physiological exam. These should include older men and women, insured and uninsured.