Multiple factors can contribute to malnutrition in elderly nursing home residents receiving an adequate amount of protein, calories, vitamins, and liquids needed to maintain health. Physical causes of malnutrition may be due to illness related to the resident’s diagnoses, including kidney diseases, cardiac failure, and chronic lung disease.
Residents with diagnoses of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease may have a reduced ability to recognize their nutritional needs and feed themselves.
Medications commonly prescribed to seniors can also cause stomach upset (nausea, diarrhea, vomiting) that lead to malnutrition. Some medications can also increase drowsiness and cause cognitive changes that impact the resident’s intake.