UK Malnutrition Awareness Week
Malnutrition affects 1 in 10 older adults in the UK, and this figure is growing due to the Covid-19 pandemic. There has never been a more important time to think about the importance of eating and drinking well, and with simple advice and support, weight loss and dehydration can be prevented.
The UK Malnutrition Awareness Week is celebrated nationally to raise awareness on the prevalence, signs, symptoms and consequences of malnutrition in older age. In most cases, malnutrition and dehydration are preventable. As we get older, we may find it more difficult to maintain a healthy weight, which can have a big impact on our wellbeing. Being aware of the signs to look out for, and thinking about what may be getting in the way of eating and drinking well will help you to stay healthy and independent.
Have you or someone you look after recently lost weight without planning to? Has your appetite changed and is now lower than it used to be? Do your clothes, jewellery and shoes feel or look loose? If you answer 'yes' to any of these questions you may not be eating enough.
Eating enough and having a balanced diet can protect you and your loved ones from ill health and if an illness strikes, your body is more equipped to deal with it if you are well nourished and hydrated.
Top tips for eating and drinking well in older age:
Try to eat every 2-3 hours, even if it is only something small, and have snacks between meals.
Aim to have plenty of variety in your meals and try eating with others.
Aim for 6-8 drinks per day (200ml each - a normal glass or cup size) and more if the weather is hot!
Add extra pieces of meat or tinned lentils into soups, casseroles, stews or pies.
If you feel too tired to cook, use ready meals and/or cook in bulk.
If you need to put weight on and increase your protein intake, try swapping low fat foods to high fat, high protein ones.
To find out more about improving nutrition and hydration in Greater Manchester, visit the Salford Age UK website and download their different booklets here.
Please share this information with as many people as you can across Bolton, as together we can make a real difference!