Long-Term Care

Trainer’s tip: Observe residents for signs that may lead to malnutrition

LTC Nursing Assistant Trainer, July 1, 2010

The body will begin to break down if it does not get the type and amount of fuel it needs. Malnutrition means, “badly nourished,” another way of saying that the person isn’t getting enough of the right nutrients the body needs to stay healthy. It can be caused by not getting enough nutritious foods or by not adequately digesting and absorbing nutrients from food. Getting too much food can also be harmful. Someone who experiences one or more of the following might be headed for malnutrition:

  • Doesn’t eat from the major food groups most of the time
  • Eats less than half of two or more meals a day
  • Eats less than one hot meal a day
  • Changes from solid foods to pureed foods, or makes other dietary changes
  • Is socially isolated or depressed and subsequently does not eat
  • Uses laxatives excessively, which hinders the digestion of nutrients by causing food to pass through the intestines too quickly

This is an excerpt from the HCPro book, The CNA Training Solution, Second Edition.

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