Why unexpected weight loss in older people should not be ignored

Nurses need to debunk the myths about weight and appetite in older age
Malnutrition and older people

Nurses need to debunk the myths about weight in older age and protect patients from malnutrition

‘My GP told me that everyone loses weight when they get older. It’s a normal part of ageing.’

‘I never drink after 6pm; I have to keep getting up in the night to go to the toilet.’

‘Well she is 87, you wouldn’t expect her to eat much.’

As a nurse with more than 30 years’ experience and a nutrition nurse for 12 years, I have heard statements like those above and others like them many times. Nutrition and hydration in older people appear to be shrouded in myths for nurses and older people alike.