Are nursing home residents’ nutritional needs being met?

When you have a loved one in a nursing home in Jasper or Walker, Alabama, you want to know that the meals, snacks and drinks being provided are adequate sources of nutrition. The Alabama State Board of Health requires nursing home facilities to serve residents a nutritional diet that is prepared properly, visually appealing, tasteful and suited to meet individual needs. Your loved one must also be offered substitutes that are equally nutritious if the meal is not personally appealing.

to ensure that a well-balanced and personalized diet is provided for each resident, nursing home staff must include a dietitian who is licensed with the state must be employed by the facility on a full-time basis, or there must be a director of food service who consults with a dietitian regularly. This is particularly important for those who are taking medications because some foods and drugs should not be combined. Because age may reduce the sense of thirst, dehydration may also be a problem for your loved one. It is important for nursing home residents to have appropriate liquids such as low-fat milk, water or juice available at all times.

According to the National Institute of Health, being over- or underweight can both be signs that your loved one is not receiving a nutritional diet. Not enough food or too much of the wrong kind of foods can cause issues with muscles and bone density, putting a nursing home resident at risk of a fall, broken bones and traumatic brain injuries that can cause a loss of quality of life, or even death. This information on elderly nutrition in nursing homes is provided for educational purposes only.

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