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Keywords:

  • ageing;
  • community health;
  • malnutrition;
  • nutrition screening;
  • nutritional status

Abstract

Aim:  To determine the extent of malnutrition and malnutrition risk among community-living older people (aged 65 years and over) who are receiving care from a metropolitan home nursing service in Victoria, Australia.

Method:  Over a 3-month period (May–July 2009), 235 clients aged 65 years and over from a community nursing service providing home nursing care were assessed for malnutrition using the Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA®, Nestle, Vevey, Switzerland).

Results:  Thirty-four per cent (34.5%) of clients were identified as being at risk of malnutrition, while 8.1% were found to be malnourished. There was no significant relationship between nutrition risk and gender, country of birth or living arrangements.

Conclusion:  Malnutrition and nutrition risk was found to be an issue among this sample of community-living older adults who were receiving home nursing care in Victoria, Australia. In this study, just over 40% of the participants were either at risk of malnutrition or malnourished, which highlights the vulnerability of this group of older people and the need for routine nutrition screening and a targeted intervention program to address nutrition issues.