Older adults are at risk of malnutrition as a result of the body’s natural ageing process as well as a range of socioeconomic factors that can result in a poor diet and insufficient nutrition.
The new Fuel Your Body campaign, which is due to be launched by WA’s leading falls prevention program, Stay On Your Feet® early in 2017, will look at ways of addressing these concerns and ensuring that Western Australians over the age of 60 are informed about what a balanced diet looks like as they age.
The campaign will be launched on Wednesday February 1, 2017 at the National Lifestyle Village Lake Joondalup by the Hon Paul Miles MLA, Minister for Seniors, Local Government and Community Services and the local member for Wanneroo, as well as City of Wanneroo Mayor Tracey Roberts and Shadow Minister for Seniors Margaret Quirk as well as a host of special guest chefs, nutritionists and health professionals.
The Stay On Your Feet® program aims to reduce the incidence of falls in older adults in the community, which is the leading cause of hospitalisation of adults over the age of 65 in Australia and costs the WA Health System on average more than $100,000,000 each year.
Injury Prevention Manager Rachel Meade said that the new campaign was designed to give older adults living independently in the community some basic information around food, alcohol and water consumption that were simple to follow, cost effective and age appropriate.
She said malnutrition in older adults was a problem in the community that can lead to impaired muscle function and potential decreased bone density and increases falls-related morbidity and mortality rates.
“This can be as a result of physiological changes in the body, chronic diseases, the side effects of medication and a loss of appetite as we get older.
“However there are other factors to consider like deterioration in quality of life, or a lack of motivation to cook healthy meals for those who may be living alone after the death of a partner for example,” Ms Meade explained.
“This can have a whole lot of repercussions, from the mental to the physical state, which can greatly increase the risk of falls, hospitalisations and the ability of individuals to continue to live independently in the community.”
The Fuel Your Body campaign also highlights the importance of drinking water to avoid complications from dehydration and drinking less alcohol to keep your brain and body healthy.
The three-month campaign launches on February 1 and runs until April 30, 2017 and targets older adults over 60 living independently in the community.
For more information about the Fuel Your Body campaign or for tips on how you can stay active and alert to reduce your risk of falls contact Stay On Your Feet® on 1300 30 35 40 or visit www.stayonyourfeet.com.au.