How well are you eating?

Eating and drinking in a way that helps you stay fit and healthy is vital for everybody’s wellbeing, whatever your age. Older people can be at greater risk than younger people if not eating or drinking enough, or not healthily. This can lead to malnutrition, and potentially serious health problems. A recent report* suggests that about 13,500 people aged 65+ in Leeds are ‘undernourished’.

Malnutrition is a lack of good nutrition usually caused by not having enough to eat or not getting essential nutrients needed to keep healthy. If not dealt with early it can lead to other problems including a reduction in mobility due to less muscle mass, and increased risk of infections.

People at particular risk of malnutrition include:

  • Those who are housebound or living alone
  • Those who are not well enough to shop for food or who cannot cook/prepare meals for themselves
  • People with dementia
  • Those with depression or low mood
  • People with dental or mouth problems

Dehydration is a lack of fluid. It can lead to headaches, low blood pressure (which can be life-threatening if the dehydration is severe), fainting, and disorientation, as well as increasing the risk of urinary tract infections and pressure ulcers in the long term. A combination of these symptoms can increase the risk of falls.

Older people can be at risk of dehydration due to reduced thirst, certain medication and dependency on others to provide drinks.

If you are concerned about yourself, or someone you care for, please see information about support on the right.

* Malnutrition and dehydration amongst older people in Leeds
(Leeds City Council, May 2018)

Help and support

Your GP
Your GP can check if you’re at risk of malnutrition, and support you.

Lunch clubs
BEA supports local lunch clubs. You can have a tasty, nutritious meal in sociable company.

Monday and Wednesday
Bramley Community Centre – Phone Mary – 0113 274 1184

Moorside TARA (Tenants & Residents Association) – phone Anne 0113 257 8706

Swinnow Community Centre – phone Yvonne 0113 256 6576

Also phone BEA 0113 236 1644 if you would like transport for a lunch club.

Meals on Wheels
Provides a hot meal from a menu. Runs 365 days a year – 0113 378 3750

Malnutrition helpline
Puts you in touch with the community dietetic team who can provide advice and ideas to help with eating and drinking – 0113 843 0905

BEA activities
We run a range of activities which can help you with eat well:

All our activities can help prevent you being lonely.
Phone BEA –  0113 236 1644

August 2018