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Eating Disorders on the Rise Among Elderly

You don't often associate anorexia and bulimia with the elderly. Here is some alarming information in advance for long-term living from research by Remuda Ranch, an eating disorders program.

Eating disorders in elderly women have increased and the majority of deaths from anorexia nervosa occur in people over age 65. Researchers say that seniors living independently have a limited number of meaningful relationships and are diminished in their contact with others, making eating disorder behaviors hard to identify. For those living in nursing care centers or assisted living facilities, it's not uncommon for residents to refuse food and become dangerously thin, researchers say.

Eating disorders in the elderly are treated with therapy, medications, nutrition education, and support. Because of the medical issues experienced by the elderly, programs that provide healthy meals, physical rehabilitation, disability-related environmental modifications, and appetite-stimulating medications may be useful as well, researchers say.

This is happening in your community. Are you watching out for the elders there?