By Nicolás Peña
NHCOA/WDC/September 2017.- The lack of knowledge and training of Latinos who care for their loved ones in the US has a negative impact on their nutrition. This is a reality that could get worse without quality medical care. The risk of malnutrition could be the end result. According to the Gerontological Society of America, 30% of older adults in the US are suffering from malnutrition, and another 65% suffer it while they are hospitalized. Experts agree that medical care has to improve and humanize interaction when treating older adults. It has to start in the classroom.
According to the World Medical Association every doctor should:
- Build the medical-patient-family relationship based on confidence
- Protect the patient’s confidentiality
- Guide patients and caregivers during post medical consultation.
While the older adult is aging their nutrition is affected by their lack of taste, smell, even their vision, not allowing them to savor the food. Not having teeth creates difficulty in chewing. The consequences of gastrointestinal problems are due to the inability to absorb all the nutrients during the digestion process. Please follow these recommendations:
- Consume foods rich in vitamin b12
- Consume three cups of milk daily (low in fat)
- Avoid consumption of high levels of sodium in your meals
- Use spices and herbs to season your meals instead of salt
- Consume easy to chew fruits and/or vegetables
- If your medication is making you lose your appetite, please talk to your doctor
According to the most recent survey developed by the National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA), more than 50% of Hispanic older adults are trying to live on an income of about $10,000 per year. With this amount, getting good nutrition is nearly impossible. That is why the media has to take a step towards promoting the governments alternative programs to assist this population, and create spaces and opportunities for organizations like NHCOA to spread the message.
Video: During Hispanic Heritage Month it’s time to highlight medical-patient relationship and its impact on the health of older adults
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