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Elderly diets.

NURSES caring for the elderly and the infirm are to receive help from a Euro 1 million research programme funded by the European Commission that will focus on ways to improve their patients' nutrition. The NUTRI-SENEX multi-national initiative marks the first project of its kind to link experts in the care, dietary and teaching professions in different EU countries "to produce recommendations, survey health legislation and develop guidelines for functional and nutritionally-balanced food for the elderly." One solution would be to create special food for the elderly with increased flavour and fortified with nutrients, said a project spokesman. The 32 partners in NUTRI-SENEX include the department of health care of the elderly within the School of Medicine of King's College London and the charity Age Concern. The project noted old people's sense of taste and smell gradually declined leading to loss of appetite, followed by "a weakening of nutritional status and immunity, a loss of weight and increased frailty." This was "especially a problem in care homes," where appetites can be depressed by monotonous diets, with no daily choices of menu. A Department of Health spokeswoman added the link between diet and health was covered in the Public Health White Paper. *
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Author:Osborn, Alan
Publication:International News
Date:Apr 1, 2005
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