The European Union of Geriatric Medicine (EUGMS) and Abbott have hosted the first-of-its-kind geriatric nutrition event in
the UK.
As new data reveals one in four hospital patients are malnourished, this unique event provides further education on managing optimal health for the increasing ageing population.
The Total Nutrition Therapy Geriatric (TNT-Geriatric) conference was a two-day interactive programme, devised to equip delegates with knowledge to manage the health and nutrition of older adults organised by EUGMS and Abbott. The primary objective of the TNT-Geriatric programme is to update healthcare professionals on advances in science-led nutrition for older adults, and provide them with a practical understanding of key nutrition issues for the ageing population.
Malnutrition is a major public health concern with far reaching economic implications; however it is not always obvious in our increasingly overweight society. A high prevalence of malnutrition is found in hospitals where it is estimated that one in four patients are already malnourished or at risk of developing malnutrition, which can have adverse effects on the outcomes of treatment.
More than one in three people in care homes are at risk of malnutrition or are already malnourished, and one in three older people living independently are at risk of malnutrition.
Raja Biswas, Geriatric Consultant, Royal Glamorgan Hospital who attended the conference, said: “Although we understand the importance of nutrition, we don’t generally get into the detail of it. The information presented on the course was very relevant to clinical practice—you could see how you could implement the course content with your patients. It also made me more aware of the need to get involved with nutrition early and I am keen to disseminate the information to the rest of the multidisciplinary team.”
In turn, malnutrition can also have a negative impact on national healthcare budgets, with increased healthcare resource use such as increased length of hospital stay and readmissions. The average length of hospital stay may be increased by 30% in malnourished patients.
“As Europe faces economic upheaval, and an ever-growing ageing population, never has it been more important to address the strain of malnutrition on healthcare budgets,” says Mike Smith, General Manager, Abbott Nutrition, UK and Ireland. “We hope for far reaching benefits to result from the TNT-Geriatric regional education programme, with the attending physicians returning to their healthcare settings to impart and share what they have learned with their colleagues. This will help set the stage for further improvements in optimal nutrition and healthcare for adults as they age.”