¿Cómo evitar los desequilibrios alimentarios en adultos mayores?

Es muy común que los adultos mayores atraviesen desequilibrios alimentarios, o que muestren una tendencia a padecerlos, ya que están en presencia de cambios psico-emocionales, físicos y socio económicos propios de esta etapa vital. A su vez, dada las limitaciones presentes en la vejez, los adultos mayores suelen requerir asistencia tanto para cocinar sus alimentos como para llevar una dieta variada y nutritiva, y muchas veces para ser alimentados.

Las problemáticas más frecuentes en los adultos mayores son la desnutrición y/o la deshidratación, las cuales se pueden dar al mismo tiempo. También puede haber presencia de obesidad. Se recomienda detectarlas tempranamente para evitar futuros inconvenientes en la salud.

La desnutrición hace referencia a la pérdida de peso no intencional o involuntaria, lo que conduce a un declive progresivo en la salud integral de la persona. Puede provocar un deterioro del sistema inmunitario, aumento de riesgo de infecciones, debilidad muscular y pérdida de masa ósea, lo que hace que sean más propensos a caídas y fracturas. Además genera deterioros a nivel cognitivo, como pérdida de memoria, desorientación temporoespacial, pérdida de concentración, de motivación y voluntad, entre otras.

Como cuidador y/o familiar de un adulto mayor, deberías estar atento a estas medidas para monitorear su salud nutricional y detectar a tiempo los desequilibrios alimentarios:

  • Monitorear su peso de manera semanal.
  • Observar sus hábitos alimentarios, qué consume y en qué cantidades.
  • Mejorar la nutrición, brindarle alimentos ricos en nutrientes.
  • Llevar un registro de los medicamentos.
  • Armar un plan de comidas saludables con anticipación.
  • Acompañarlo en las comidas para que sea un momento de encuentro.
  • Incentivarlo a hacer alguna actividad física.

En el caso de la deshidratación, ocurre cuando existe una pérdida excesiva de líquidos corporales que no son repuestos. Puede ser muy peligrosa si no es tratada a tiempo, ya que los órganos no consiguen funcionar correctamente, y en adultos mayores es aún más riesgoso. Puede ocurrir de manera lenta o rápida y ciertos minerales, como ser el sodio, el potasio y el cloro también están involucrados en el mantenimiento de un equilibrio de líquidos saludable.

Algunas de las formas para evitar la deshidratación en adultos mayores son:

  • Beber por lo menos 8 vasos de agua al día para evitar tener sed.
  • Salir a la calle siempre acompañado de una botella de agua.
  • Acompañar todas las comidas con agua.
  • Ofrecer constantemente agua a los adultos mayores.
  • Ponerse recordatorios como alarmas o carteles en la heladera para siempre tenerlo presente ya que se suelen olvidar de ingerir líquidos.

El equipo de salud interdisciplinario de La Colonia está compuesto por una Licenciada en Nutrición, quien lleva un registro del peso y las dietas de nuestros adultos mayores, trabajando en conjunto con la cocinera. Las dietas en la residencia son variadas, ricas en nutrientes y siempre incluyendo los gustos y preferencias del adulto mayor, en la medida que sea posible. A su vez, el equipo de enfermería está atentos al consumo de agua de los pacientes, ya que es parte de la salud integral de ellos.

Cabe destacar que para aquellos residentes con problemas específicos en lo que respecta a su nutrición y que poseen patologías, como diabetes, hipertensión, obesidad, desnutrición, celiaquía, etc. se les brindará un tratamiento más personalizado, siendo monitoreados y tratados por el equipo de salud.

Fuente: https://www.mayoclinic.org/es-es/healthy-lifestyle/caregivers/in-depth/senior-health/art-20044699

Fuente: http://www.vittal.com.ar/deshidratacion-riesgo-en-adultos-mayores/

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