Awareness campaign for Growing Well-Fourished

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Growing older well nourished

No less than 8.5 percent of people over 65 living independently at home are malnourished or have a high risk of malnutrition. For vulnerable people over 65, this is even an average of 16 percent. To draw attention to malnutrition in the Netherlands, the Partner Network for Malnutrition for the Elderly (POO) annually organizes the Well Fed Aging awareness campaign, this year from April 15 to 22.

For different target groups

The awareness campaign focuses on different target groups: the elderly, informal caregivers and healthcare professionals in all healthcare sectors. Together we can ensure that (risk factors for) malnutrition in the elderly are recognized earlier, so that treatment can be started on time and optimally.

Elderly

For the elderly there are online advices about varied, protein-rich food and the importance of sufficient exercise. Elderly people can read, among other things, what they can do themselves if their appetite is reduced due to abdominal complaints or oral problems. With online tests elderly people can test for themselves whether they have healthy food, are malnourished, getting enough protein and sufficient exercise.

Informal caregivers

The partner network also provides advice to informal caregivers on how to recognize malnutrition in a loved one. Signs that may indicate malnutrition include weight loss without intention (even if you are overweight), loose-fitting clothing and/or watch, and reduced fitness. If there are concerns about nutritional status, informal caregivers can test (the risk of) malnutrition together with the loved one with the online test and discuss together whether advice from the GP or dietician is necessary.

Healthcare professionals

There is an extensive one for healthcare professionals toolbox available at to increase awareness and knowledge about malnutrition, as well as signaling skills. In addition, you can healthcare professionals also use the online tests to check whether their clients are consuming sufficient nutrients. If malnutrition is suspected, the POO recommends that healthcare professionals take the following steps:

  1. Talk to each other: what does the other person need to eat more and better?
  2. Together, make sure that there is enough varied food and protein-rich products in the house. Such as milk, cheese, eggs, meat, fish, poultry, nuts and peanuts, grain and soy products and legumes.
  3. Check whether there is (risk of) malnutrition and discuss together whether advice from the GP or dietitian is necessary.

More practical advice can be found on the Goed Gevoed Ouder Worden website.

Partner Network Malnutrition for the Elderly

The POO settles in for a joint approach to malnutrition in the elderly. At the nnetwork are 25 organizations affiliated, including professional and trade organizations (such as the Dutch Association of Dietitians and the Nutrition in Healthcare Alliance), patient and elderly organizations (such as PCOB) and knowledge partners (such as Wageningen University and Nutrition Center). The partnership is an initiative of the Malnutrition Knowledge Center on behalf of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport.

Source: Malnutrition Knowledge Center

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