One of the problems identified for Sallie Mae is her lack of oral intake and poor nutritional status. Sallie Mae stated that she has “had no appetite,” and that she used to be a “right decent cook until Woody died.” Upon the home health nurses’ assessment of Sallie Mae, they discover that she has lost 14 pounds since her admission to the hospital one week ago, has poor skin turgor and tenting, dry mucous membranes, hypoactive bowel sounds and has not had a bowel movement for three days.
Sallie Mae appears to be struggling with the death of her spouse, Woody. As a result, she is lonely and has no desire to cook for herself. Because eating is a social event, and one that she used to share with Woody, she has lost her desire to prepare healthy meals (Kaplan, 2016). There are several nursing interventions that could be recommended:
1. Seek help for meal preparation and planning from a home health agency.
2. Arrange for a meal delivery service, such as Meals on Wheels.
3. Ask if she knows a widowed friend that she could meet weekly for meals.
4. Ensure she drinks plenty of water to prevent herself from getting dehydrated.
5. Weekly weigh-ins to monitor for a significant increase/decrease in weight.
6. Maintain good oral hygiene and ensure her teeth/mouth are healthy.
9.Occasional meal replacement shakes to provide energy and calories.
While dealing with loneliness and losing one’s appetite is quite common after the death of a spouse, it is something that Sallie Mae, with time, can learn to work through. She should allow herself time to deal with Woody’s death while ensuring she stays healthy.
Anderson, Jeff. (2015). 10 senior nutrition myths. Retrieved from https://www.aplaceformom.com/blog/3-15-14-senior-nutrition-myths/
Kaplan, D. B. (2016). The elderly living alone. Retrieved from https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/geriatrics/social-issues-in-the-elderly/the-elderly-living-alone