Older people won't respond to treatment if they are malnourished. Help the Aged responded to a report from the British Association for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (BAPEN) showing that of adults admitted to hospitals, care homes and mental health units, 28 per cent are at risk of suffering from overall malnutrition at the time of their admission. The report also shows an increased risk on transfer between care settings - with a 43 per cent risk on transfer from a care home to hospital.

Charlotte Potter, Senior Health Policy Officer at Help the Aged commented:

'Today's figures reveal worrying levels of malnutrition, especially among older people going into hospital. Rates are even higher among patients admitted from other hospitals and care homes. This suggests institutions aren't dealing with nutrition effectively.

'This is a huge concern. Older people won't respond to treatment or recover well if they are malnourished. Providing appropriate nutritional support needs to be part of any good health service. It is impossible to talk about a world class health service when basic issues such as malnutrition are not top of the list.'

Notes

For a copy of the report, please see: bapen/

'Right care, Right deal' is the new national campaign launched to build public awareness and support for the need for brave and innovative solutions for the social care system. With the Government indicating that social care is an urgent political priority, and in advance of the expected green paper later in 2008, the campaign combines three of the UK's largest charities working with and for older people and their families and carers, and will urge the government to renew its vision for the future of social care in England. Visit rightcare

Help the Aged is the charity fighting to free disadvantaged older people in the UK and overseas from poverty, isolation, neglect and ageism. It campaigns to raise public awareness of the issues affecting older people and to bring about policy change. The Charity delivers a range of services: information and advice, home support and community living, including international development work. These are supported by its paid-for services and fundraising activities - which aim to increase funding in the future to respond to the growing unmet needs of disadvantaged older people. Help the Aged also funds vital research into the health issues and experiences of older people to improve the quality of later life.

Help the Aged urgently needs donations and support to help it in the increasingly challenging fight to free disadvantaged older people from poverty, isolation and neglect.

Help the Aged

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