Eating alone can be unhealthy for seniors, emotionally and physically

Alan Wu

July 28, 2011

Seniors who live by themselves often eat alone, which may leave them prone to malnutrition, and one of the biggest contributing factors is loneliness. The Home Instead Senior Care Network recently conducted a study of seniors who are 75 years of age and older, and the results show that the majority of seniors eat most of their meals alone, but wish they shared meals with their families more often.

“We know from experience that many families live too far away or don’t have the time to help their aging parents,” Judy Best, the owner of Home Instead Senior Care in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada, told the Durham Region News. “But our research shows that seniors eat more nutritiously when friends and family are around.”

Two out of five seniors who eat most of their meals by themselves have at least four signs of poor nutrition, such as loss of appetite, depression, weight fluctuation, unhealthy and dry skin, lethargy and cognitive problems.

Seniors who live alone may forget to eat, which could make them feel weaker and increase the risk of a fall. Medical alert systems could contact help if an accident happens.

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