Eat Well Age Well has launched a research study and calls to action as part of its activities to support UK Malnutrition Awareness Week (5 – 12 October). The major study – The Role of Food Security and Malnutrition Risk with Psychosocial Indicators of Healthy Ageing in Place was led by the University of Glasgow and in partnership with Food Train and its malnutrition project Eat Well Age Well.
The findings of this report revealed a complex picture of food insecurity and malnutrition risk being associated with worse psychological outcomes for wellbeing and loneliness. However, food support services located in local communities emerged as a valuable source of empowerment of the older adults’ life.
The findings highlight the vital role of local community supports supporting vulnerable older people. The findings highlight a need for action that can be seen in Scotland’s communities. These findings along with Eat Well Age Well’s learning to date has led to the development of these calls which are supported by a range of stakeholders. These steps if implemented could make a big positive difference to older people’s lives and save health and social are money. The 4 calls are:
- Community screening for early signs of malnutrition should be mandatory for all statutory agencies with a role in supporting older people
- Training on malnutrition, unintentional weight loss and health communication about household food should be embedded in basic training for all health and social care professionals
- More and better investment should be made in community initiatives that address social isolation in communities by providing befriending and opportunities for people to eat, shop or cook with others
- Food poverty and food are not the same for vulnerable older people. Policy, practice and research needs to take account for this.
Listen to Dr Kate Reid and Prof. Catherine Lido discussing the research study on the Eat Well Age Well podcast
Read more about our calls to action
Follow us at @EatWellScot using the #TimeforChangeScot to support our campaign on these calls to action