Nutrition to Aid Wound Healing in the Aging Adult

Publish Date: March 2019

Julie Richards, MS, RDN, LDN; Mary Litchford, PhD, RDN, LDN; Joyce Pittman, PhD, ANP-BC, FNP-BC, CWOCN, FAAN


Although often overlooked, nutrition is a key factor in wound healing. The presence of a wound increases a person’s need for calories, protein, water, and other nutrients, including specific vitamins and minerals. A failure for wounds to heal in a timely way can lead to the development of chronic wounds, which are common in older adults particularly due to multiple comorbidities. This article, published in The Journal on Active Aging, discusses specialized nutrition considerations that help treat chronic wounds and support active aging.

Richards JA, Litchford M, Pittman J. Nutrition to aid wound healing in the aging adult. The Journal on Active Aging. 2019

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Author Bios


Julie Richards, MS, RDN

Abbott Nutrition Division of Abbott
Columbus, Ohio


Mary Litchford, PhD, RDN, LDN

President, CASE Software & Books
Greensboro, NC, USA

Mary Litchford, PhD, RDN, LDN, is an internationally recognized speaker, author, and consultant to health care providers. She received her PhD in human nutrition from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. Her professional career has included clinical practice, university teaching, and business consulting. She is president of CASE Software & Books, a professional and educational resource company. She is a member of the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics and served on the Academy’s Evidence Analysis Work Groups on wound care and hydration. In 2018 she received the Academy’s Excellence in Practice Award for Consultation and Business Practice. She is currently the Immediate Past President of the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel and serves as one of the NPUAP representatives on the International Clinical Practice Guidelines Governance Group.


Joyce Pittman, PhD, ANP-BC, FNP-BC, CWOCN

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Science of Nursing Care
Indiana University Health- Academic Health Center and Indiana University School of Nursing

Joyce Pittman, PhD, ANP-BC, FNP-BC, CWOCN, has over 38 years in clinical practice including 18 years as a Wound, Ostomy, Continence (WOC) nurse, 14 years as a Nurse Practitioner. Dr. Joyce Pittman is both clinician, nurse researcher, and educator providing system-wide WOC expertise at Indiana University Health- Academic Health Center and Indiana University School of Nursing. Dr. Pittman is past Deputy Editor for the Journal of Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing, active in the WOCN Society, a Director on the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP), has authored numerous journal articles and book chapters, is a national speaker regarding WOC conditions and issues, and is a consultant regarding complex wound and ostomy management. Dr. Pittman’s practice and research is focused on improving the quality of life of those individuals with wound, ostomy, and continence conditions.

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