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The Challenge of Managing Undernutrition in Older People with Frailty

Roberts, Helen C., Lim, Stephen E. R., Cox, Natalie J., Ibrahim, Kinda
Nutrients 2019 v.11 no.4
at-risk population, elderly, food fortification, malnutrition, nutrition assessment, screening, weight loss
Many older people with frailty are at risk of malnutrition and poor health, yet there is evidence that improving nutrition and weight loss can reduce frailty. This will become more important as the number of older people with frailty increases worldwide in future. Identifying those at risk is challenging due to the difficulty of reaching and screening those older people most at risk, the large number of nutritional assessment tools used, and the lack of consensus on the criteria to make a diagnosis of malnutrition. The management of older people with or at risk of malnutrition should be multi-modal and multi-disciplinary, and all care staff have an important role in delivering appropriate nutritional advice and support. This paper will highlight a number of practical approaches that clinicians can take to manage malnutrition in older people with frailty in community and acute settings, including environmental changes to enhance mealtime experience, food fortification and supplementation.