· Malnutrition in the Elderly
· Home Delivered Meals Available
· Cancer Support Group Meeting (3/3)
· March is National Nutrition Month
· Purim Fun-Fest with Zumba Gold (3/4)
Mary Kaye Dolan-Anderson, Director
Dutchess County Office for the Aging
Obesity is certainly one of America’s leading health issues, and the elderly are not immune from the dangers of carrying too much body fat. The good news is recent studies have shown that older adults who are a few pounds over their ideal weight may actually receive some protective health benefits in the event of a major illness. The bad news is 30% of Americans over the age of 65 are well over a few pounds overweight and classified as clinically obese. In addition to all of the health risks associated with obesity, many of these seniors are also malnourished.
Classically, the malnourished are thought of as underweight stick figures (and many times this is still the case). However, researchers are quickly realizing that hidden beneath layers of life threatening fat, many of the obese are also suffering from malnutrition. Just because they are eating a lot, does not mean they are eating the right foods in the proper amounts.
A recent study in the Annals of Emergency Medicine studied elderly patients in brought to emergency rooms for a variety of ailments. Of those who were screened, 60 percent were found to be malnourished and 77 percent of them said they had never been diagnosed before then.
The elderly are especially susceptible to malnutrition for a variety of reasons. Many find it difficult to get to the grocery store on a regular basis; some may have a restrictive diet, financial concerns or an inability to chew or swallow well. Appetite loss, especially due to medications, loss of taste buds or illness is another common problem. Depression is a major cause of malnutrition as patients may not have a positive outlook regarding the aging process and just not care anymore.
Nutrition is like medicine for our bodies. The key as we age is to eat nutritionally dense foods; foods that are higher in nutrition and lower in calories. This means fewer “snack” type foods and more fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats and high fiber foods. Without a balanced diet, the body is not able to fight disease as efficiently during times of health or heal properly or as quickly when illness strikes. Drinking your nutrition from nutritional supplements can be helpful for short periods, but should not be relied on as your main source of nutrition. If you are having trouble keeping weight on, be sure to discuss the problem with your doctor or nutritionist.
If you are recovering from a temporary or permanent disability that prevents you from cooking, you may be eligible for Home Delivered Meals from the Office for the Aging or one of the Meals on Wheels Programs that operate here in Dutchess County.
All of our meals are prepared by a professional chef and selected to meet the Recommended Daily Allowance for good nutrition by a Registered Dietitian who is licensed by the American Dietetic Association. There is a suggested donation for the program. For more information call the Office for the Aging at (845) 486-2555.
Support Connections Inc. will host support group sessions for women with breast, ovarian or gynecological cancers in March at:
· Vassar Brothers Medical Center: 10 a.m. Tuesday, March 3.
Pre-registration is required. To register or learn more, women may call 914-962-6402 or 1-800-532-4290.
March is National Nutrition Month and the theme for 2015 is “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle,” which encourages everyone to adopt eating and physical activity plans that are focused on consuming fewer calories, making informed food choices and getting daily exercise in order to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, to reduce the risk of chronic disease and promote overall health. For a list of quick tips for “biting in to a healthy lifestyle”, click here.
“A Purim Fun-Fest for All”
Zumba Gold for seniors led by Linda Thomas, religious comedy, and carnival games of skill
Hudson Valley Community Center, 110 S. Grand Ave., Poughkeepsie
FREE (voluntary donation gratefully accepted) Program and lunch afterward $5/person
Please call (845) 471-0430 for more information, lunch reservations and last-minute cancellations and schedule changes.