Malnutrition in the elderly is rife and it can often go unnoticed.
There is a common misconception that older people naturally lose weight. Causes of malnutrition, such as illness, loneliness and loss of mobility are more common.
While column inches in our national newspapers and magazines are dedicated to obesity in the young, malnutrition in the elderly is going unnoticed.
According to Age UK, more than one million people over the age of 65 are malnourished or at risk of malnourishment. The condition is often poorly understood or not dealt with properly.
Many people over the age of 65 live alone and will see no point in cooking themselves a proper meal. Instead they will opt for snack food or microwave meals. This means they aren’t getting the nutrients they need.
Malnutrition can also be exacerbated due to local shop closures, cuts to meals on wheels services or lunch clubs as well as illness, immobility and even bereavement.
Addressing malnutrition needs to be a key priority for everyone involved in an elderly person’s life.
Our carers are vital in helping prevent our elderly service users from becoming malnourished. When visiting a service user, our carers can make them breakfast, lunch or an evening meal. And as part of their care plan, they can manage their nutritional care. They can also help them with their food shopping if needed.
It’s super important to raise awareness of elderly malnutrition. We would urge anyone with an elderly family member, friend or neighbour, to ensure they are eating properly if they’re not receiving social care visits. Anyone interested in having one of our expert carers visit them or a loved-one should get in touch.