Unplanned weight loss any time in our lives may be a signal of illness and should be addressed with a primary care physician. For older adults, unplanned weight loss may cause a variety of problems:
Result in weakness and problems with balance, putting someone at greater risk for falls.
Compromise the immune system making it easier to get sick or have a harder time recovering from illness or surgery.
Result in dehydration causing urinary and kidney problems, affects blood pressure and heart rate.
One of the side effects of Covid19 and other viruses can be loss of taste and smell and parosmia (changes in taste and smell) that may last long periods of time and result in unintentional weight loss.
Please keep an eye on older friends, neighbors, and family membersand look for signs that they may be unintentionally losing weight:
Clothing seems more baggy and ill-fitting
Complaints that “nothing tastes good” or they have “no appetite”.
Reduced physical activity or unwillingness to be physically active citing they have no energy.
Observed poor food and beverage intake or refuses foods and beverages when offered.
Source: Malnutrition Task Force
Leah McGrath, RDN, LDN
Ingles Markets Corporate Dietitian