Eating Disorders in elderly -


Both Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa can occur in the elderly people. Most of the cases show a similarity in the features of the disorder suffered by the elderly and the young people. These features include clinical features, psychological issues, and a close relationship with other issues such as depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Both vulnerability factors and precipitating factors lead to the disorder in the elderly. The disorder is usually not diagnosed properly among the elderly due to the symptom being considered secondary to the other physical or psychological conditions.

Anorexia is illnesses which can be kept secret easily by people who unsociable, depressed and lonely - the elderly.

Factors causing / Causes of Eating Disorders among elderly -

Elderly people usually suffer from weight loss and anorexia. Some cases show that anorexia in elderly may be as a result of age related diseases, but there can be cases of actual anorexia associated with age.

Physical and emotional causes may lead to loss of appetite. Some of these causes can be listed as - badly fitting dentures making eating difficult and painful, loss of sense of smell and taste making food unattractive, infection in the body, bowel problems.

Estimates - Facts and Figures -

Researches conducted in the recent year's show that the eating disorders when occur in the elderly are more fatal, contributing to 78% of overall anorexia deaths.

The University Of British Columbia Psychologists conducted a study of 10.5 million deaths for a period of four years showing that the average age of deaths due to anorexia nervosa was 69 in women and 80 in men. Other researches across the globe show that many people suffer from the disorders in their 60s, 70s and 80s.

Treatment -

Counseling with a professional always helps. There are many organizations; both physical as well as online that provide treatment and counseling. There are many websites providing online programs that help the elderly to -

1. Plan and participate in their recovery.
2. Wok on the symptoms and stop indulging in self-destructive behavior.
3. Monitor the progress.
4. Planning exercises and strategies.
5. Sharing thoughts and feelings with the others through the Discussion Board.

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