An overview of the gastrointestinal system as it relates to the nutritional status of the older individual is presented. The anatomy and physiology and age-related changes of the system are reviewed. Selected common age-related disorders are discussed along with their incidence, presenting symptoms, diagnostic measures, and interventions. The American Cancer Society’s 2020 screening recommendations for the intestines are then outlined.
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An overview of nutrition in older age is provided. Definitions of and descriptions of the elements of nutrition; fluids, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and fibers well as minerals are presented. Psychological-cultural and physiological aspects of nutrition are described. Dietary Guidelines for Americans along with MyPlate and MyPlate for Older Adults are discussed. Implications of anorexia, under- and overnutrition as well as failure to thrive are reviewed. There is discussion of adequate nutrition in institutional and community settings along with necessary education. Lastly, recommendations for adequate nutrition in older adults are outlined.