Malnutrition in the community: what you can do to support older people

Why it’s vital nurses recognise risk factors and challenge myths about weight loss and ageing
Older person

Why it’s vital nurses recognise risk factors and challenge myths about weight loss and ageing

Living longer means little if it’s not living well. The fact so many people are living into late old age is a cause for celebration. However, it means that, if nothing changes, there will be many older people who could become malnurished.

Older people continue to be at risk of malnourishment and dehydration, and the number of people dying in hospitals from malnutrition is increasing.

Undertaking nutritional assessments is vital, as is making the appropriate referral or prescribing and evaluating an intervention. Ensuring people who need it receive support to eat and drink is fundamental, and when a patient is discharged, information about their nutritional status must follow them home.

Addressing the underlying causes

It is shocking and unacceptable that