Determining if your loved one needs additional nutrition care or nutrition therapy starts with a nutrition assessment.
What is Nutrition Assessment?
Nutrition assessment is a process that nutritionist or dietitian uses to evaluate your nutrition level and determining your current nutrition needs. Your nutrition level ranges from great to extremely deficient. The first step is to determine your individual nutrition needs for optimal health. This step includes knowing a thorough history of your diet, lifestyle, medical, chronic conditions. The second step is the evaluation of your nutrition status, calorie, protein and nutrient needs, adequacy of your diet, possible deficiencies or food intolerance(s), need for further testing, recommendations for diet and lifestyle changes and supplements.
Your Nutrition Assessment looks at all these areas:
- Diet history
- History of Weight Loss
- Recent illnesses or Diagnosis
- Lifestyle history
- Medical history (such as Dementia or Alzheimer’s)
- Evaluation of blood and diagnostic tests
- Recommendations for testing (testing for allergies, for vitamin deficiencies)
- Evaluation of nutrition status (how serious is the deficiency)
- Calorie needs (based on height, weight, activity level, sex)
- Protein needs
- Nutrient needs
- Adequacy of your diet
- Possible diet deficiencies
- Food intolerance
Identifying malnutrition is an important first step in identifying a problem. Eating and enjoying a meal is part of our everyday life and important to everybody, not least to people living with dementia. A healthy diet and nutrition is fundamental to well being at any stage of life and to helping to combat other life-threatening diseases. Under nutrition is common among older people generally, particularly common among people with dementia. Under nutrition tends to be progressive, with weight loss often preceding the onset of dementia and then increasing in pace as the disease progresses. Although we can’t avoid these symptoms which lead to malnutrition and under nutrition, we can manage them with a variety of Nutrition Therapy Options. Orchard at Tucker’s 2018 Nutrition Therapy Program is designed to help combat under nutrition and bring back the joy of eating to those who have lost it. However it all starts with an nutrition assessment.