Push to eat well in ad­vanced years

Wanneroo Times - - Opinion -

A CAM­PAIGN launched in Ashby this month aims to keep peo­ple over 60 in­formed on what con­sti­tutes a bal­anced diet as they age.

WA’s falls preven­tion pro­gram Stay On Your Feet and the In­jury Con­trol Coun­cil of WA launched the “Fuel Your Body” cam­paign at Lake Joon­dalup Lifestyle Vil­lage on February 1.

Con­sul­tant nu­tri­tion­ist Sarah Moore said it was nor­mal to see a de­crease in ap­petite as peo­ple’s me­tab­o­lism slowed as they got older and en­ergy needs de­creased.

“How­ever, this doesn’t mean that your need for nu­tri­ents de­creases and this is what many older peo­ple may not re­alise,” Ms Moore said.

“A good diet helps you stay ac­tive, healthy and in­de­pen­dent for longer and less prone to chronic health prob­lems and I don’t think it’s ever too late to adopt healthy habits.”

The cam­paign also looks at the im­pact of hy­dra­tion as peo­ple age and how al­co­hol af­fects the body.

Ms Moore said be­tween the ages of 20 and 80, the amount of wa­ter the body could store de­creased by six litres, mak­ing older adults in­creas­ingly sus­cep­ti­ble to de­hy­dra­tion.

“De­hy­dra­tion can make you feel tired and con­fused and can lead to con­sti­pa­tion and is also a sig­nif­i­cant con­trib­u­tor to falls and older adults be­ing hos­pi­talised,” she said.

In ref­er­ence to the im­pact of al­co­hol as the body ages, Ms Moore said al­though many peo­ple are able to en­joy an oc­ca­sional so­cial drink with­out any harm, it was im­por­tant to re­alise that al­co­hol was a car­cino­gen.

“As we get older the body breaks down al­co­hol more slowly and you may find your­self more sen­si­tive to its ef­fects which can make you more prone to falls,” she said.

The Stay On Your Feet pro­gram, funded by the Health Depart­ment, aims to re­duce the in­ci­dence of falls and fall­sre­lated in­juries in older adults in the com­mu­nity.

In­jury preven­tion man­ager Rachel Meade said the cam­paign was de­signed to give older adults some ba­sic in­for­ma­tion around food, al­co­hol and wa­ter con­sump­tion that was sim­ple, cost ef­fec­tive and age ap­pro­pri­ate.

She said mal­nu­tri­tion in older adults was a prob­lem that could lead to im­paired mus­cle func­tion and po­ten­tial de­creased bone den­sity and an in­crease in falls-re­lated mor­bid­ity.

For more in­for­ma­tion, call 1300 30 35 40 or visit www.stay ony­our­feet.com.au

Pic­tures: Martin Ken­nealey

Above: Mau­reen Pegg and Hil­lary Stott. Be­low: Ian Robin­son with Alyson Elari of the In­jury Con­trol Coun­cil of WA. www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d464854

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