Course Overview

Brief

This Course examines the role that nutrition plays in healthy ageing, and reinforces the need for ongoing assessment of an older person's nutritional requirements. Questions such as "what should older people eat?" and "why is good nutrition important as we age?" are discussed.

Learning Outcomes

  • Explain why good nutrition is important as people age
  • Identify barriers to adequate nutrition in older people
  • Describe the dietary requirements of older people

Topics include:

  • Factors affecting an older person's nutrition
  • The physiological changes associated with ageing
  • Management strategies for older people with poor food intake
  • Nutritional assessment
  • Texture modified foodstuffs

Target audience

Health professionals working with older people in a variety of healthcare facilities, including respite and aged care homes, and acute, subacute and community settings.

Purpose

Reinforce knowledge of the important role that nutrition plays in healthy ageing.

Need

Adequate nutrition and hydration is vital to sustaining life, especially as people age. Unfortunately many older people are not adequately nourished; up to 85% of older Australians living in residential care are reportedly malnourished. A potential reason for this is that staff working in residential aged care facilities may lack sufficient knowledge regarding the nutritional needs of older people in their care. Current evidence suggests that education to enhance the knowledge of staff in recognising and responding to older residents with compromised nutrition is needed. Paying careful attention to the nutritional needs of older adults in residential aged care can lead to a better quality of life, a greater sense of wellbeing, and improved clinical outcomes for these individuals.

Health professionals in Australia that are registered with AHPRA are required to obtain continuing professional development (CPD) hours/points each year that relates to their context of practice, in order to comply with mandatory regulatory requirements.

Educators