Seniors: Guides to eat well every day

Improving elderly people’s diets is a major challenge to help them live a longer, healthier life.

Particular attention has to be paid to the content of their meals, but also to the mealtime environment in order to prevent malnutrition, which is one of the major causes behind older people losing their independence.

In this regard, the Ministry for Agriculture, Food and Forestry has published 3 guides on the subject, drawn up in collaboration with health and catering professionals. Many changes, particularly physiological changes, caused by ageing impact on older people’s eating patterns (reduced sense of smell, taste, appetite…) and thus increase the risk of malnutrition, possibly causing a loss of independence in the long term.

The fact is, older people tend to decrease their food intake despite the fact that their needs, particularly in terms of protein and energy, are higher in order to retain their bodily functions.

Continuing to enjoy eating is thus a pre-requisite to prevent malnutrition in older people. Improving elderly people’s diets from a nutritional and flavour perspective is a major challenge to help them live a longer, healthier life. With this goal in mind, the Directorate General for Food (DGAL) in cooperation with the Director General for Social Cohesion has published 3 guides for seniors. They have been written with the support of health and catering professionals.

They give explanations of how to continue enjoying food and how seniors can retain their food independence for as long as possible. As part of its commitment to provide adapted nutritional solutions to older people in care structures, Nutrisens Médical is particularly interested in the third of these guides: “Improving food in establishments that care for elderly people”.

The goal of this guide is to set out exemplary actions that have been carried out or can be carried out to fight malnutrition in institutionalised elderly people. For example, it includes information on why it is a good idea to have more, smaller meals and, in particular, night time snacks, the importance of encouraging residents to hydrate and, especially, to drink gelified water, and the proper use of Oral Nutritional Supplements (ONS)…

As part of its internal Nutritional Charter, Nutrisens Médical agrees with the practical recommendations in the guide and undertakes to combine pleasure and nutrition when preparing its Clinical Nutrition products for seniors.

Nutrisens Médical’s guarantee consists in reconciling great flavour with each patient’s constraints, by offering simple and varied solutions that link pleasure in eating to specific nutritional needs.