Tips on Promoting Food and Fluid Intake in the Elderly

Journal of Gerontological Nursing (Impact Factor: 1.02). 12/1991; 17(11):44-6. DOI: 10.3928/0098-9134-19911101-11
Source: PubMed


Nurses have a crucial role in ensuring adequate food and fluid intake in the elderly. Nurses can improve the nutritional intake of their elderly patients by obtaining proper nutritional assessments, addressing risk factors for malnutrition and fluid deficit, providing enough staff and volunteers to help feed impaired patients, honoring each older person's meal pattern, scheduling drug regimens that do not interfere with food and fluid intake, not scheduling food-related activities and visits too near mealtime, serving food that is palatable and attractively served, ensuring adequate fluid intake, and being creative in finding ways to keep the restless, wandering patient well-nourished and hydrated. Monitoring food and fluid intake requires precise recording of what foods and fluids the older person is ingesting, keeping accurate intake and output records, determining periodic weights, informing the physician of patients' weight loss in a timely manner, and instituting corrective measures at once.

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