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Prevention and Early Intervention of Malnutrition in Later Life

37% of people aged 70 years and over who had recently moved into a care home were found to be malnourished or at risk of malnutrition, therefore, malnutrition is considered a major cause and consequence of poor health and older people are particularly vulnerable.

The human cost of malnutrition and dehydration are harrowing to both the individual and those that care for them. Food and water left out of reach, lack of support to eat and drink and supplements not given are unacceptable occurrences that contribute to malnutrition. However, these can be readily overcome and small changes can make a big difference.

This guide sets out many ambitious targets. With malnutrition and dehydration not recognised as problems in our society. Most people (older people, carers, professionals, commissioners and senior managers in health and social care) do not realise how common malnutrition is or how serious the consequences can be and so malnutrition and dehydration continue to go unrecognised and untreated.

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