Publish date: 11 June 2021
Residents are invited to get involved in the activities taking place in Tameside to raise awareness of malnutrition and dehydration in people aged 65 and over.
Tameside Council in partnership with colleagues from the NHS Trust, Active Tameside, Direct Care and Be Well Tameside are encouraging people to attend the events taking place during Malnutrition and Dehydration Week, 14-20 June.
Colleagues will hold a stall at Ashton Outdoor Market on Monday 14 June between 10am-1pm and at Tameside Wellness Centre - Denton on Friday 18 June between 11am-3pm. There will also be a Global Tea Party event hosted online by Be Well from 1pm-2pm with a quiz and a chat. Full details of the week can be found on Tameside Council’s website Public Health Older People (tameside.gov.uk) and details of Be Well’s Global Tea Party and how to join in can be found on their Facebook page @BeWellTameside
The events will give people the opportunity to learn more about how they can do their bit for the older generation in our communities, to avoid these conditions so that people can live full, healthy and happy lives.
Malnutrition and dehydration pose an ever increasing threat to our older people. This has been heightened significantly over the past year due to the Coronavirus pandemic and the restrictions that have affected this older and shielding group more than others. This lack of social contact and restricted access to food and drink has meant that many have become malnourished, dehydrated and deconditioned (decreased muscle mass, and feeling unfit and less able) behind closed doors, which leads to increased frailty for this vulnerable cohort.
Many people believe it is normal to lose weight as you get older but, unplanned weight loss in later life may be a sign that someone is malnourished or at risk of malnutrition.
Significant, unplanned weight loss can make a person more likely to get ill or have a fall. It may also slow down recovery time from any illness or surgery. Some people may be at particular risk if they have an ongoing health issue, or if they struggle to shop or cook for any reason. Other things that may put someone at risk are loneliness, experiencing a reduction in essential care and support services, or not being as physically active.
Tameside Council’s Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Population Health, Councillor Eleanor Wills, said: “We want people to recognise the signs and potential triggers and understand the risks of malnutrition and dehydration in later life in order to prevent these avoidable conditions in our communities as much as possible. We are working to raise awareness so that residents and loved ones know what to do, what conversations to have and where to turn to if they have concerns about someone who has experienced unplanned weight loss.
“We want to bring people together to create a focus and energy around these topics in order to highlight and inform them about the value of food and drink in maintaining health and wellbeing in the community. We have recruited Nutrition and Hydration Champions across the borough to help to get these topics talked about more to help our residents stay healthy for longer.”