Maximize Your Independence
The three keys to successful aging are often defined as: having living a meaningful, productive life, while remaining in your home or care setting; being engaged with family, friends and the community; and preventing diseases and/or managing chronic conditions. Who doesn’t want to continue to live a full life, drive where you want to go, entertain and be entertained? But, malnutrition, for whatever the reasons, really throws a cog into the wheels of successful aging. Why? Because it can affect all three of the keys to successful aging. But, malnutrition can be identified, treated and followed up.
Malnutrition occurs due to energy imbalance either from overnutrition or undernutrition. Undernutrition results from energy, protein, and other macro- and micronutrient deficiencies due to decreased nutrient intake or increased nutrient demand of diseases. Severe malnutrition will interfere with activities of daily living, delay healing, and can even lead to significant complications – including death. The good news is that, with a little help from caregivers and health care providers, warning signs can be heeded. A good way to begin is with a check-up that includes a malnutrition screening.
The benefit of the Malnutrition Screening Tool (MST) is that you will be able to have a quick capture of your nutrition risk. Then, you can take the necessary steps to maximize your independence. A simple questionnaire will be the start of your check-up. Did you know that you can get a nutrition screening as part of your routine care at the doctor’s office, clinic visit, or even in the hospital?
Screening Matters …
Once screened, your health care provider can discuss important options. These may include:
- a complete nutrition assessment, measurements and/or laboratory tests
- nutrition therapy for your specific health conditions – even chronic conditions
- ideas about helpful programs to access food in your community at home, in congregate sites or elsewhere in the community
- preventative or maintenance measures for your nutrition health, even advice on medications and nutrition
If you are interested in making a positive impact on your health, visit www.malnutrition.com, for more information and remember to ask your doctor or health care provider about nutrition screening.