Out of the Box: A New Look at Managing Weight Loss in the Elderly

By TMC’s Strategic Innovation Taskforce members:
Kristy Lewandowski, M, CCC/SLP & Elizabeth Page, MA, CCC/SLP

Speech Therapists, are you completing Quality Indicator Screens for Weight Loss? Your facility can provide you with the residents that are triggering for significant weight loss each month off their QI report. This is helpful for identifying Part B patients experiencing swallow or cognitive issues that we can help prevent further decline and even future hospitalizations. Here’s a helpful mnemonic for exploring possible causes:

Meals on Wheels

M Medication effects
E Emotional problems, especially depression
A Anorexia tardive (nervosa), alcoholism
L Late-life paranoia
S Swallowing disorders

O Oral factors (poor fitting dentures, cavities)
N No money

W Wandering and other dementia-related behaviors
H Hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, hyperparathyroidism, hypoadrenalism
E Enteric problems (e.g. malabsorption)
E Eating problems (e.g. inability to feed self)
L Low-salt, low cholesterol diets
S Social problems (e.g. isolation, inability to obtained preferred foods), gallstones