Malnutrition in Older People

Published: 22/05/2019

Click on read more to find out more information about malnurtion in older people.

A study by the institute of Human Nutrition at the University of Southampton has found that about 13% of the British population over the age of 65 are at risk of malnutrition.  Up to 20% of older people in hospitals and care homes are malnourished.  Professor Elia is quoted in the Daily Mail (16th February 2016) as saying that there are multiple causes, including social isolation, poverty, mobility problems, mental health, difficulty in eating, and disease.  His researchers are developing a simple screening test which could be used by GPs, hospitals and care homes to identify people who need nutritional support. 
Bluebird Care staff are trained how to encourage at-risk customers to eat, and we keep food diaries where appropriate, to enable family members to keep an eye on what is being eaten.
From our experience, the risk of malnutrition is particularly high for people who have dementia.  Loss of appetite is a common symptom of dementia, and memory problems often lead a person with dementia to think that they have eaten when they have not.  Please ask us if you would like any tips on tempting a person with dementia to eat.