Has the pandemic punished your appetite? If so, you may need to deal with your diet.
Age UK claim one in four of us aged 60-plus have been eating less in lockdowns – and could be at a greater risk of becoming malnourished.
According to the charity’s own survey, the pandemic has left some older people with reduced appetites and less able to shop for, prepare and eat enough good food.
Age UK has published a checklist we can all run through – to see if there is anything we can do to help ourselves and each other. The list asks such questions as:
- are you concerned you may be underweight;
- have you lost a lot of weight unintentionally in the past three to six months;
- have you recently found you have lost appetite or interest in eating?
If any of us – or our friends or relatives – answer ‘yes’ to any of those questions, Age UK say it is time to take action.
‘It’s vital that we all raise the issue of eating well and getting enough nutrients with our older relatives and friends, sensitively and supportively,’ said Age UK’s Charity Director Caroline Abrahams.
‘Look out for warning signs that they may not be getting enough to eat – like rings being loose and slipping off, clothes looking too big, belts needing to be tightened.’
Caroline warned that not eating and drinking enough increases the risk of infection and falls, and worsens any existing long-term conditions. It also makes it harder for people to recover from an episode of ill health.
Helpful information on food concerns can be found through The Malnutrition Task Force and the Association of UK Dietitians. Some people may wish to talk about consulting with their GP or healthcare professional.