The lifespan of Americans today has gotten longer than ever. It is estimated that by 2040 those ages 85 and above will represent 20 percent of the population. With this, specific medical conditions also become more rampant, that to include fractures, falls, dehydration, attention deficits and cognition loss.
As indicated on a recent study entitled “Salt Appetite Across Generations”, researchers from Israel stated that a decrease in the sense of thirst can up potential for serious dehydration. Likewise, according to them, the appetite for salt does not decrease with age. Moreover, this could even be utilized to aid in sustaining hydration as well as prevent dangerous symptoms resulting from dehydration.
Meanwhile, another research from the American Journal of Hypertension mentioned notable risks to longevity and cardiovascular health from taking in less than one or more than three teaspoons of salt each day. Luckily, majority of Americans, that to include seniors, when given the chance to decide on their own, are able to consume such on the average.
Diets low in salt can result to seniors suffering from mild hyponatremia, an imbalance involving electrolytes in the blood. This can then lead to attention deficits, walking impairment, and a greater risk for falls. There are even studies pointing out the direct relationship between hyponatremia and falls, unsteadiness, attention deficits and bone fractures.
Falls are known to be one of the most serious concerns for seniors, most especially since around one-third of those over 65 years old fall at least once per year. Injuries related with falls in seniors are linked with various physical and psychological effects and are one of the top causes of hip fractures and breakage of bones, and can thereby lead to permanent disability, complications, and even death. Although some may be prescribed with a low salt diet, it can still be noted that most would still benefit from a diet with ample amount to maintain the body’s optimal functioning.
With this, it is important that home care services and other facilities take note of diet considerations when caring for senior patients. By doing so, they can ensure that the elderly receive the appropriate care they deserve.