1. Szulecki, Diane Editor

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On this month's cover is the painting Old Man Drinking Herbal Tea (1895) by Swiss artist Albert Anker. We chose this painting to illustrate the common problem of malnutrition in older adults, which is discussed in a CE article in this issue.

Figure. On this mont... - Click to enlarge in new window On this month's cover is the painting

Numerous factors can lead to malnutrition in the elderly. Physical and psychological problems associated with advanced age-such as dental issues, reduced absorption of vitamins, dehydration, and dementia-can prevent adequate nutritional intake. Financial difficulties force some older adults to choose between spending money on food and on other expenses, like medications. Additionally, those who rely on a ride from a family member in order to go grocery shopping, as well as those who eat alone on a regular basis, are at increased nutritional risk.


Malnutrition is associated with reduced quality of life, short-term mortality, and higher health care costs. But there are many ways nurses can help address the issue, and many programs that provide assistance: to learn more, read "Malnutrition in Older Adults," which discusses risk factors as well as screening tools, interventions, and resources nurses can use to ensure that their older patients receive adequate nutrition. -Diane Szulecki, editor