Many older adults in Scotland can struggle to eat enough to meet their nutritional needs. This can lead to malnutrition which can significantly affect their quality of life.
Through work with partners across Scotland, Eat Well Age Well (as part of the Scottish Charity Food Train) has found that as many as 1 in 5 older adults could be at risk of becoming malnourished and across Scotland many organisations are working with Eat Well Age Well to ensure that older adults are supported to eat well and identify malnutrition early.
Early identification and regular malnutrition screening are key to supporting older adults at risk of malnutrition to improve their diet and quality of life. Eat Well Age Well provide a range of resources to help support older adults or those who work with/care for older adults who may be concerned about their diet, difficulties eating and whether they are eating enough. More information can be found here
Eat Well Age Well offers regular online and bespoke training to organisations/teams who work with older people to:
- improve their knowledge and understanding of malnutrition and how it affects older people
- improve knowledge and understanding of causes, signs and symptoms of malnutrition
- use and implement easy to use screening tools (such as Patients Association Nutrition Checklist) into their practice and
- provide advice and support to older people at risk of malnutrition.
The content of the training has been designed by a registered dietitian and a nutritionist and can be altered and adapted to suit the needs of the team. Additional content covering specific dietary needs or conditions can be added as needed.
The training can be delivered in a variety of ways to suit the needs of the attendees and the number of sessions, timing and venue can be tailored to suit. Video recordings can be provided for future staff or training materials can be provided to allow organisations to embed training into inductions or other existing training programmes.
A variety of written resources designed to help support older adults to eat well and stay nourished are available to view and order.
Finally, the Malnutrition Advice Line, 0800 13 88 220 is a free phone advice line available to over 65s and those who work with/care for anyone over the age of 65 and can provide advice around improving your diet and staying well-nourished.
Jen Grant is a Project Dietitian with Eat Well Age Well. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org