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Ensuring good nutrition for older patients in the community

Eating difficulties affect many older people and can be a short or long-term issue, while poor nutritional status can have a huge impact upon older people’s health, wellbeing and quality of life. Nurses, carers and relatives need to identify potential problems with older patients’ nutrition so that they can manage any issues successfully. Providing adequate nutrition for older people requires a multidisciplinary approach, with the aim of improving patients’ nutrition by assessing any barriers to successful eating. Often, being alert to very subtle issues and addressing them is the key to success in helping older people achieve a healthy diet. This article will highlight some of the issues that may affect older people and lead to under-nutrition. It also provides some simple preventative measures.