During Malnutrition Awareness Week our message is that everybody must work together to help find people who are at risk of malnutrition.
The awareness week’s number one focus is to ‘Ask, Look, Listen’.
It is easier to manage malnutrition or dehydration when it is spotted earlier, so we want everybody in the community to look out for family members, neighbours, and colleagues. We want people to ‘Ask, Look and Listen’ and recognise that we are all in this together.
In our Trust we look to provide a range of promotional and educational activities with ward staff. This includes education on diet and nutrition, bariatric surgery, home enteral feeding and MUST training and audits.
How does ‘Ask, Look and Listen’ identify malnutrition?
If you know somebody who may be vulnerable because they are older, because they have health problems, or perhaps because they are isolated, don’t be afraid to ask them if they are eating and drinking okay.
Don’t be afraid to ask about somebody’s appetite or ability to prepare food and drink, it could make all the difference and help you stop malnutrition in its tracks.
Be on the lookout for signs of unplanned weight loss such as looser clothing, loose belts or rings or dentures. And remember, you won’t always see weight loss – keep your eyes open for other signs like empty fridges and cupboards.
Listen out for what somebody is telling you about their life. It may not be about eating and drinking directly. But is it about feeling lonely, or losing interest in things that usually give them pleasure?
Practice active listening and think about how the way somebody is feeling generally may affect how they are able to look after themselves.