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You are asked to see Mr. Basset, who is 80 years old, currently living alone, and has recently lost his wife. His children do not live nearby, but Mr. Basset sees them on holidays. Mr. Basset was recently diagnosed with lung cancer and has had an unexplained weight loss of 20 pounds in 3 months. He is getting chemotherapy as well as taking oral medication for hypertension and arthritis, and is showing signs of dehydration.

Mr. Basset reports that his wife did most of the cooking and he has limited cooking skills. He usually has cereal with milk and coffee for breakfast and soup for a second meal later in the day. He eats crackers throughout the day if he is hungry, but admits that he doesn’t have much of an appetite. In addition, Mr. Basset has ill-fitting dentures and claims that food just does not taste the same. He is also on a limited budget.

  1. What physiological factors might contribute to Mr. Basset’s weight loss?
  2. What psychosocial factors might contribute to Mr. Basset’s weight loss?
  3. Give one likely explanation of why Mr. Basset’s dentures do not fit.
  4. What nursing actions need to be included in the plan of care to improve Mr. Basset’s nutritional status?