· January 15, 2017

Failure to thrive for the elderly patients is not a failure to develop, but it is simply a progressive functional decline that is multifactorial and may be caused by chronic concurrent diseases and functional impairments. The Institute of Medicine defines FTT as, “Weight loss of more than 5%, decreased appetite, poor nutrition, and physical inactivity” leading to functional decline. The prevalence of failure to thrive increases with age and is associated with increased costs of medical care and high morbidity and mortality rates.  Also called adult failure to thrive, it affects up to 35% of older adults in general and up to 40% of nursing home patients. It is important to note that FTT is not a part of the aging process and can often lead to death. In elderly patients, failure to thrive is associated with increased infection rates, diminished cell-mediated immunity, hip fractures, decubitus ulcers, and increased surgical mortality rates.

As mentioned above, Adult FTT is most commonly seen in the frail elderly who may not have one specific terminal illness, but may have one or more chronic illness. In the absence of a known terminal illness, patients with FTT often have manifestations of the condition which include decreased appetite, weight loss, increased fatigue and a progressive functional decline

Learning Objectives and Purpose

After finishing this course, the CNAs will be able to:

  • Describe the decline in health that is known as Adult Failure to Thrive.
  • Discuss the role of nutrition and physical activity in preventing and treating AFTT.
  • Be able to discuss the role of social interaction in preventing and treating AFTT.
  • Implement interventions to provide adequate nutrition to patients suffering from AFTT.
  • Demonstrate empathy and compassion toward clients with AFTT as they approach the end of their lives.


Instructions for taking the course

To complete the course successfully, you must go through all the lessons below. You MUST mark each lesson as complete by clicking the MARK COMPLETE BUTTON. If you do not click the mark complete button, you will not be allowed to proceed to the next lesson. Please notice that all lessons have a minimum set amount of time that you are expected to spend on each lesson. You will not be allowed to Mark the Lesson Complete until the timer resets to zero; that is, until the minimum time set for the course has passed. For example if lesson A has an allocated minimum time of 10 minutes, you will have to wait 10 minutes before you can mark Lesson A complete. The Mark Complete button for lesson A will be grayed out and will not become active until 10 minutes are over.

WARNINGIf you forget to click the Mark Complete button done, you will be prompted to go back to that lesson again and have to wait till the allocated timed minutes resets to zero again before the Mark Complete button becomes active. After all lessons are completed and they are Marked Completed, you will then be allowed to take the post test. If you successfully pass the quiz, you will earn CEU’s for this course and you can proceed to print out your certificate.


Not Enrolled

Course Includes

  • 1 Lesson
  • 1 Topic
  • 1 Quiz
  • Course Certificate