Malnutrition among Older Adults is Preventable and Treatable

Nutrition risk increases at older ages. Over 30% of older adults in Canada face an increased risk of malnutrition. (1) Including a nutrition screening in periodic assessments of older adults is an important step towards preventing and treating malnutrition. A research project led by Timiskaming Health Unit (THU) in collaboration with the Northern Ontario Dietetic Internship Program (NODIP) aimed to determine key malnutrition risk factors for older adults (55+) living in the South of Timiskaming District demonstrated barriers to healthy eating were mainly associated with inadequate nutrition knowledge and a lack of transportation and food affordability and/or accessibility. To screen for malnutrition, THU recommends using a standardized tool such as the Seniors in the Community Risk Evaluation for Eating and Nutrition (SCREEN IIAB©) consisting of 8 items that cover aspects such as weight change, appetite, the frequency of eating, intake of fruits and vegetables, motivation to cook, ability to shop and prepare food. Abstract of this project - Older Adults Nutrition Needs in Rural Northern Ontario (PDF)