Nutrition is an essential factor of health in the aging population because it significantly affects the aging process (Floud, Fogel, Harris & Hong, 2011). In fact, malnutrition is increasing among this population due to a decrease in functional status, poor recovery, especially when one has wounds, reduced cognitive function, immune dysfunction, among others. In this view, there is a need to change to adapt to the variations in the body. The fact that aging people engage in less activities imply that they should eat less food. However, eating less does not mean taking food that is not rich in nutrients (Floud et al., 2011). After fifty years of age, an individual’s ability to absorb vitamins decline because of a lack of enough acid in the stomach that is required to breakdown them from diverse food sources.
The aging skin does not perform its functions as efficient as a younger skin (Floud et al., 2011). The less functioning implies that it does not convert sunlight to vitamin, something that affects the absorption of calcium in the body, a mineral that is useful in the strengthening of bones.
There are also changes that are experienced in during the process of elimination. As one grows, there is bladder atrophy, which refers to the inability to hold bladder for long periods (Floud et al., 2011). In this context, it is recommended that aging people should take a lot of water to avoid dehydration. Due to the low rate of metabolism, the aging often constipates (Floud et al., 2011). Constipation takes place due to a reduced rate of metabolism. Roughage should be provided in large amounts to ease bowel movement. There could be incontinence that may be caused by a lack of sphincter control (Floud et al., 2011). Some men may develop prostate problems, resulting in frequent urination. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that the aging diet meet their needs.
- Floud, R., Fogel, R. W., Harris, B., & Hong, S. C. (2011). The changing body: Health, nutrition, and human development in the western world since 1700. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.