What to Ask: Nutrition
Tools and Tips
Malnutrition (poor nutrition) is associated with many chronic diseases of aging. The term malnutrition refers to both undernutrition (such as unintended weight loss) and overnutrition (such as obesity).
Age-related changes in physiology, metabolism, and function also alter the nutritional requirements of older adults. Older adults can improve their health and independence by understanding the relationship between the aging process and nutritional screening, evaluation, and dietary management.
The following are questions you can ask your health care professional concerning nutrition.
QUESTIONS ABOUT MALNUTRITION
- I tire easily and feel like my strength is not as good as I am used to. What kind of exercise program would you recommend for me?
- Should I not take any of these medications if I feel ill and am getting little to eat or drink?
- I am not sure that I am eating a healthy diet. How can this be checked? Should I see a dietician?
- What is a nutrition screening tool?
- How can my medications affect the food nutrients I need?
- Are there foods to avoid because of the medications that I am taking?
- Here are the supplements that I have been taking. Are there any I should eliminate because of my health conditions?
- I thought "failure to thrive" just referred to babies.
- I have always been "too fat". Can I change at age 70? What is a good weight for me?
- Do I really need vitamins?
- What are the side effects of a feeding tube?
- The nursing home where my wife is insists on feeding her. I don't think she wants to eat. What are my rights?
QUESTIONS ABOUT Eating and Feeding Problems
- I am coughing during meals. Could this mean I have a swallowing problem?
- It sometimes feels like food gets stuck in the middle of my chest. Does this need to be checked?
- What swallowing changes are to be expected with dementia patients?
- What can be done for a patient who stops eating