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Adequate Salt Intake: Secret to Better Elderly Health

Longer life spans especially in the US have contributed to the need for better health care. With the increase of population of those ages 85 and above (expected to compose 20 percent of the population by 2040), it is also inevitable that they will be at risk for various health conditions such as cognition loss, dehydration, fractures, falls, and attention deficits.

According to a recent study entitled “Salt Appetite across Generations”, a decreased sense of thirst among seniors poses an increased risk for dehydration. The proponents (from the University of Haifa) also reiterated that the yearning for salt does not lessen with age and that such could be utilized to aid in sustaining hydration as well as avoid dehydration’s dangerous symptoms.

Meanwhile, another study, this time from the American Journal of Hypertension, pointed the risks to longevity and cardiovascular health of ingesting less than one or more than three teaspoons of salt.

Those who suffer from mild hyponatremia (low salt diet) are at risk for attention deficits, walking impairment, and more risks for falls. Several studies have also found that low salt intake is related with bone fractures and unsteadiness.

With this, it is a must that home care services providers and other health care givers be aware of their patients’ diet. Likewise, families, friends and loved ones of these seniors would benefit from having a proactive take on their elderly loved ones’ nutrition.


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