Learning Objectives

•Identify clients at risk of malnutrition or already malnourished

•Identify clients that requires special diet or education such as diabetes

•Identify clients safety needs like dysphagia or need to modified diet

•Know the importance of good nutrition and hydration

•Know how to improve meal time practices to encourage better client food intake

•Understand allergies, allergens and prevention

•Understand cultural consideration

•Identify, prevent, respond to choking

•Report and Document 

Nutrition and Hydration



A decline in lean body mass (with or without fat loss) that leads to functional impairment

Nutritional risk among older Canadians

•2008/2009, 34% of Canadians aged 65 or older (more than 4.1 million) were at nutritional risk. 

•Woman are more likely at risk 38% vs 29% of man 

•49% of people living alone were at nutritional risk, compared with 28% of those who lived with others

•Among seniors who were depressed, 62% were at nutritional risk 

•44% of people with moderate or severe disability were at nutritional risk, compared with 27% of those with no or mild disability 

•People who assessed their oral health as fair or poor were more likely than those who did not to be at nutritional risk

Adequate Nutrition and Hydration

Nutrition and Hydration are vital for a client wellness

Nutritional assessment

A registered dietician will do an assessment of a client requiring nutritional intervention.

The assessment will identify the nutritional problem, the intervention required and the monitoring and evaluation

Know the signs of malnutrition

• Eating poorly

• Old food in the refrigerator

• Chewing and swallowing difficulties

• Taking multiple medicines

• Unplanned weight loss

• Becoming sick often

• Slow healing wounds

• Bruising or dry, cracked skin

• Memory issues

Consequences of poor nutrition


Why Is Water Good for Seniors?

Over time the percentage of water in the body falls. The body is normally made up of 60% water which falls to about 50% in seniors. Because of this reduction, seniors are at a risk for dehydration. First, their sense of thirst decreases with age, so seniors often don’t feel thirsty and as a result drink less water. Secondly, as people age, their kidneys have a decreased ability to concentrate urine. These two things contribute to dehydration. Some symptoms to watch out for include: dry, sticky mouth, muscle weakness, headache, sleepiness or tiredness.

Dehydration can contribute to memory and cognitive problems as well as constipation. It is important to remember to drink fluids throughout the day in order to avoid these problems.

Match the correct answer

  • can contribute to memory and cognitive problems as well as constipation
  • can contribute to increased infections, decreased wound healing and longer hospital stays

Food Allergies

Food Allergies

Food allergies can be life threatening. A food allergy occurs when the body’s immune system responds to the protein in the food the wrong way.

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