Skip to main content


Nutrition plays an instrumental role not only in sustaining health but also in the therapeutic management of various conditions. As nutritional needs evolve with age, factors such as reduced appetite, altered taste and smell, and concurrent illnesses can compound the complexity of dietary management.  

The Nutritional Paradigm in Aging

  • Physiological Shifts: With age, decreases in lean body mass, metabolic rate, and alterations in the gastrointestinal tract can influence nutrient requirements and absorption. Sensory changes might also deter appetitive behaviors.
  • Disease and Medications: Chronic conditions, such as diabetes or renal failure, necessitate specialized diets. Additionally, some medications can affect appetite or nutrient absorption.
  • Psychosocial Factors: Isolation, depression, or cognitive challenges can influence dietary behaviors, sometimes leading to malnutrition.

Optimizing Nutrition in PALTC

  • Individualized Nutritional Assessments: Periodic screenings to evaluate dietary intake, potential deficiencies, and weight trends are critical.  
  • Dietary Planning: Menus should be designed to cater to individual preferences while balancing medical needs. This might entail therapeutic diets, texture modifications, or fortifying meals.
  • Hydration Focus: Ensuring adequate fluid intake is paramount, especially since the sensation of thirst diminishes with age. Regular hydration checks can help prevent dehydration and its complications.
  • Supplemental Support: In cases of pronounced deficiencies or challenges with oral intake, nutritional supplements or enteral feeding might be necessary.
  • Interdisciplinary Collaboration: Nutritionists, nurses, physicians, speech therapists (to assess swallowing issues), and sometimes social workers must collaborate to address the multifaceted nutritional challenges in PALTC.