Let’s face it – no one likes aging, no matter what age you are. Good nutrition is a crucial part of aging. Whether you are a caregiver or an older adult reading this, you need to understand that a geriatric nutritionist can help with geriatric nutrition at any stage. No matter how old you are, your health can be linked back to either poor or proper nutrition – that’s how vital proper nutrition is. As we age, the idea of proper nutrition also changes. As a result, nutrition for older adults looks different because it is different.
Older adults often face what we call comorbidities, meaning more than one condition or disease that are usually chronic or long-term. Sometimes that could mean diabetes and a heart condition; other times it could be arthritis and obesity.
Proper Geriatric Nutrition with a Registered Dietitian
As a registered dietitian, I have extensive knowledge in how the body responds to food and what it takes to achieve proper nutrition. Dietitians often have multiple degrees and spent a great deal of time studying the human body. Aside from that, nutritionists are known for creating a supportive environment with achievable goals and individualized meal plans. We treat the whole body in order to make sure the body is properly nourished.
When it comes to nutrition, it’s wise to seek the help of someone who understands how the body ages and what dietary needs a person requires at every stage, with any health condition. That’s where nutritionists shine! We’re part of a medical team that looks at your whole body and works with you or your loved one to ensure the body is getting properly nourished.
Geriatric Nutrition as a Specialty
There are different types of dietitians – some work in schools or hospitals, others have their own private practice or work in outpatient clinics. Geriatric nutritionists, like me, may have more than one specialty. Many of those include medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, digestive disorders, and more. The list for nutritional specialties can be extensive but that doesn’t mean a nutritionist doesn’t also specialize in geriatric nutrition.
A geriatric nutritionist specializes in nutrition for the elderly while working as a registered dietitian. Like me, they work with older adults and understand how to customize nutrition plans and interventions in order to meet the needs of aging adults and seniors. The physiology of an older adult may make it easier to obtain chronic illnesses and a registered dietitian with a specialty in geriatric nutrition will understand all the signs and changes of an aging body, making it easier to create care plans.
Geriatric Nutrition Consulting Packages
Nutrition for Older Adults
Every physical body is different. We will create an individualized meal plan and develop a program that meets your nutritional needs.
A Custom Meal Plan for Your Healthy Life
Overall Health Goals
We set attainable goals and work together to achieve them. At each session we will review your meal plan and discuss ways to meet your goals for the long-term.
The Role of Food in Healthy Aging
It’s common knowledge that what we eat matters and food can play a huge role in healthy aging. This means a state of complete well-being, and not just a body that is free of disease. Healthy aging is also in the eye of the person aging – your perception of your own health matters. Every person, just like every physical body, is so different. Healthy aging can mean pain management, a degree of independence, maintaining bodily function and the ability to move, and feeling content, fulfilled, and joy within your life.
Malnourishment is a risk for many older adults. It concerns both the aging adult and those who love and care for them. Some people may eat but they aren’t absorbing the nutrients they intake. For others, they are eating but eating the wrong foods. Malnourishment involves a greater risk of injury for those experiencing it and it can lead to many medical complications and more time in a hospital. This is part of where a geriatric nutritionist can help.
Working with a Geriatric Nutritionist
For most people who seek the help of a registered dietitian, they have blockers that need breaking and their goals are centered around getting healthy and losing weight. For older adults, there are still benefits within the counseling aspect of the work we will do together. The majority of our work will be centered around combating malnourishment and customizing meal plans for proper nutrition.
My clients are treated individually, and on a case-by-case basis with care. While it’s common to work with older adults as my clients, I also work with their families to make the care giving aspect easier. This is a journey and we’ll work through the bumps in the road together.
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for Health, Wellness, and Living
Randi Weissberger is a registered dietitian in Bethesda, MD servicing the greater Washington DC-area and more. She specializes in geriatric nutrition, family needs, long-term care, weight management, eating disorders, health fitness and more.