The 4th National Health and Morbidity Survey showed that chronic non-communicable diseases commonly affect the Malaysian elderly. Malnutrition and sarcopenia amongst the elderly population may worsen the prognosis of those present with non-communicable diseases and lower their quality of life and survival. With the rising ageing population, there is a great concern over health status and quality of care. This rapid rise in most parts of the world has led to increasing pressure on health service delivery arrangements.

 

On 23 November 2022, the IMU Centre for Transformative Nutrition and Health (CTNH), and Deakin University Australia brought together experts from Australia and Malaysia to share the latest evidence to enhance skills in the nutrition care of the older population. The one-day workshop – Enhancing Skills in Gerontology Nutrition for Healthcare Professionals – aimed to help improve outcomes in elderly care through best practices for nutrition and physical activity.

 

Most attendees comprising doctors, nurses, and dietitians found the workshop useful and rated the content as good and excellent. They appreciated the wide range of experts and found them informative and “an eye-opener”. In particular, the participants expressed how they have discovered more factors essential to consider in the management of the aging community on how to determine, provide, and monitor physical frailty and malnutrition and provide nutritional intervention for aging-related complications such as dementia, pressure sores, and glycaemic control.

 

“Very insightful that it touched on aspects beyond nutrition.”
“I definitely got to understand a more holistic approach in managing elderly patients…”
“The sessions were very informative and are definitely beneficial for practice”

 

Some participants found information applicable to current practice and valued the interaction with speakers during the workshop through the sharing and case study discussions.

 

“The case discussions put theory into place”
“Very practical measures and will apply them in the hospital when I’m back soon”

 

It is undeniable the roles of good nutrition and physical activity in the elderly contribute to vitality, maintaining functional independence, and quality of life. IMU’s CTNH is committed to continuing to work in this area to support the ageing population.