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Nutrition in later life

A South Australian study conducted in 2003, reported that up to 38.4% of community dwelling older people receiving home support services can be at-risk of under-nutrition.

In this same study, it was noted that those at nutritional risk were more likely to report falls, be hospitalised and spend longer in hospital than those who were nutritionally healthy.

Factors associated with poor nutritional health include: 

  • poor oral health
  • dementia
  • depression
  • social isolation / loneliness
  • reduced mobility
  • pain
  • constipation
  • medications
  • medical illnesses.

Low body weight (BMI < 22kg/m2) or losing weight without trying are indicators that something may be wrong.

It is important that all older people who may be at risk of poor nutritional health discuss their daily food intake with their GP.

Geriatric medicine / older people’s clinics

Geriatric medicine / older people’s clinics at:

*Reference to study mentioned above: Visvanathan R, MacIntosh M, Callary M, Penhall R, Horowitz M, Chapman I. The Nutritional Status of 250 Older Australian Recipients of Domiciliary Care Services and its Association with Outcomes at 12 months. J Am Geriatr Soc 2003; 51:1007-1011

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