What is a Geriatric Nutritionist and Why Older People Need One

Why seniors need a geriatric nutritionist

Coronary heart disease is a leading cause of death for Australians aged over 65. It and other diseases can be traced back to poor diet, according to data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

A nutritionist who specialises in ageing can help you get your diet right.

What is a Geriatric Nutritionist? 

Geriatric nutritionists are health specialists who specialise in the nutrition for you as you age.

Geriatric nutritionists have done years of rigorous education to learn how to create dietary plans and menus to enhance quality of life and well-being.

What is their goal?

The two primary goals of a dietitian who specialises in geriatric nutrition are:

  • To counter the effects of aging for as long as possible
  • To improve the condition of older adults with failing health using nutrition principles

They achieve this by creating long term meal plans with the right balance of protein, vitamin, and energy needs.

5 Reasons Why an Elderly Person Needs a Geriatric Nutritionist

You probably don’t want to be told what your meal should look like. However, as an older adult, someone who understands age issues can help you improve your quality of life.

Here are five reasons why this type of nutrition specialist can help:

1. Geriatric nutritionists are nutrition experts.

A person in the geriatric nutrition practice is not your regular nutritionist. They are certified practitioners with years of study and training under their belt. They are practically dietitians. (A dietitian is a certified nutritionist. While every dietitian is by default a nutritionist, not every nutritionist can call themselves a dietitian.)

This means that when a geriatric nutrition expert is talking to you about a healthy menu for the body of an older adult, they know what they’re talking about.

2. Geriatric nutrition caters to weak and sick older adults who have special needs.

Aging is accompanied by many complications: difficulty in physical movement, weight loss and loss of bone and muscle mass, and possible chronic disease. An older adult may need more or less protein or vitamins, determined by an expert dietitian.

3. Good nutrition plays a vital role in the aging process.

As an expert, geriatric nutritionists make a thorough assessment and know what food is good for you.

According to the father of geriatric medicine, Dr V .S. Natarajan, nutrition is essential to good health in older adults. Dr Natarajan is an award-winning researcher who has gained national and global recognition, like the world-renown Sandoz Foundation for Gerontological Research in Australia, for his medical resources and contributions to aged care.

Everyone wants to age well, and if you are going to do that, you may want to have an expert to recommend what daily meal you should eat and oversee the management of your dietary needs.

4. Nutritional requirements are different in the elderly

As you grow older, your nutritional needs and body requirements change. You may not be eating as much food anymore, or you become picky with your eating. This can result in your physical body failing to meet the required nutrient intake that can lead to weight loss, malnutrition, and other medical issues.

You need diet specialists who can review your condition and recommend a diet that will give you the required nutrients even with your diminishing appetite and foods intake. This includes vitamin and protein supplements and other body needs that help recover and maintain a healthy weight and prevent malnutrition.

5. The physiology of older adults is complex.

The concerns for older adults are quite different from younger people. Seniors are more concerned with simply making life comfortable and preventing serious complications or disease. When you have a geriatric nutritionist to guide you, you can make sure you eat the right food and have the care and support you need.

A lot of changes can affect a person as they grow older. The right nutrition can help you age well.

Having a geriatric nutrition expert to guide you can be a relief. Take time to listen to a professional who can explain what is happening to your body and recommend necessary precautions and prevention. Nutrition guidance now can help long term.

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