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Nutrition and Hydration for Geriatric Patients Essay

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Updated: Jul 1st, 2021

The health of geriatric patients can be influenced by a plethora of factors, including their existing issues, mobility, and interactions with medical professionals or loved ones for support. An older person’s dietary needs may be specific to his/her condition. For example, patients with osteoporosis are often recommended to consume an appropriate level of calcium and vitamin D (Holroyd-Leduc & Reddy, 2012). However, not every person can access high-quality and nutritious food due to some daily living limitations. The discussed patient has osteoporosis and needs an adequate level of calcium and vitamin D in her diet; her functional abilities are impacted by her inability to shop for herself.

Patient Assessment

To assess the patient’s mobility and independence, a medical professional can use the Lawson IADL Scale. The patient can use her telephone – she answers calls and dials numbers that are written down or found by her. In regards to shopping, she cannot take care of all shopping needs by herself. While she can buy some groceries in the store located near her house, she cannot access fresh produce and some other foods because she does not drive. The patient can prepare meals based on the ingredients she purchases. She can also perform most tasks around the house and do her laundry, but she requires occasional assistance. She can use public transportation and taxis, but cannot carry heavy bags. She is fully responsible for her medications and can manage day-to-day purchases, but needs assistance with banking. The final score for the patient on the Lawton IADL Scale is 7. This is a high score, but her lack of access to some foods is concerning.

Dietary Needs, Functional Abilities, and Compensation

The discussed patient is a 67-year-old woman who has been diagnosed with osteoporosis that mainly affects her hips and back. The assessment results show that the woman cannot shop independently, which limits her access to healthy and nutritious products. While that should not impact her hydration because she functions well inside the house, her dietary choices may be restricted to the foods sold at the nearest stores (Resnick, 2016). The patients’ condition requires some nutritional adjustments – osteoporosis treatment often includes recommendations for consuming enough vitamin D and calcium (Cosman et al., 2014; Plawecki & Chapman-Novakofski, 2010). Currently, the woman tries to eat healthily, but she is often limited in choices for fruits and vegetables. Thus, this may create a deficiency of these nutrients in her diet.

Strategies for Improvement

The patients’ diet often lacks fresh produce recommended for people with osteoporosis (Cosman et al., 2014). She also cannot access products that are fortified with vitamin D or calcium without assistance. In her case, the use of nutritious supplements is a good way of balancing her diet (Plawecki & Chapman-Novakofski, 2010). She should add calcium and vitamin D to her list of medications, Furthermore, she should ask for support from her family or loved ones to help her with traveling to stores and handling large purchases.

Conclusion

Older patients may require assistance even if they act independently most of the time. The discussed patient has dietary requirements that are affected by her osteoporosis. She needs fresh produce and fortified products that contain vitamin D and calcium, but her location does not have any stores near her house. To manage her condition and avoid complications, she needs nutritious supplements or assistance to travel to other stores.

References

Cosman, F., De Beur, S. J., LeBoff, M. S., Lewiecki, E. M., Tanner, B., Randall, S., & Lindsay, R. (2014). Clinician’s guide to prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis International, 25(10), 2359-2381.

Holroyd-Leduc, J., & Reddy, M. (Eds.). (2012). Evidence-based geriatric medicine: A practical clinical guide. Hoboken, NJ: Blackwell Publishing.

Plawecki, K., & Chapman-Novakofski, K. (2010). Bone health nutrition issues in aging. Nutrients, 2(11), 1086-1105.

Resnick, B. (Ed.). (2016). Geriatric nursing review syllabus: A core curriculum in advanced practice geriatric nursing (5th ed.). New York, NY: American Geriatrics Society.

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