New malnutrition advice line for Edinburgh and the Lothians

18 November 2020

Eat Well Age Well are pleased to be introducing their new malnutrition advice line. The line will open from 1 December and will provide practical tips and advice about how to stay well-nourished for older people aged 65 years or over living at home who have a poor appetite and/or are experiencing unintentional weight loss. 

The advice line will be available for older people, family members, carers and health professionals supporting an older person aged 65 years or over living in the Edinburgh and Lothian areas. 

Eat Well Age Well (EWAW) is a national project focused on the prevention, identification, and treatment of malnutrition among older people over 65 years living at home. Eat Well Age Well is part of the Scottish charity Food Train which has been providing vital services for older people living at home since 1995, including food and groceries, house-hold jobs, library services and social contact through befriending and Meal Makers.

Malnutrition is a key health issue among older adults in Scotland. It is estimated that 1.3 million older adults in the UK are malnourished or at risk of becoming malnourished with the vast majority (93%) living at home in the community. Older adults are proportionally more at risk of malnutrition than any other age group and are the fastest-growing population group. Malnutrition has been shown to lead to increased healthcare costs, increased GP visits, increased dependency, and increased hospital admissions.

Malnutrition is not an inevitable part of ageing and is largely preventable and treatable. We know that prevention of malnutrition is effective and prevents unnecessary ill-health, improves the quality of life and costs less than treatment. A key step in prevention of malnutrition is early screening, identification and intervention of those at risk of malnutrition however despite a range of validated tools there is poor consistency of screening across the country.

The advice line will be promoted across Edinburgh & Lothian to health professionals and third sector organisations who work directly with older people aged 65 years or over.

EWAW have a strong network with organisations supporting older people and are ideally placed to carry out nutritional screening and provide first-line interventions aimed at preventing the progression of malnutrition and its associated risk factors.

If you would like more information on the advice line or have any queries please get in touch with Eat Well Age Well on 0131 447 8151 or hello@eatwellagewell.org.uk