Nutrition for Older Adults

Growing older generally increases nutritional risk. As primary prevention, nutrition helps promote health and functionality and affects the quality of life in older adults. Although many older adults are enjoying longer and more healthful lives in their own homes, others, especially those with health disparities and poor nutritional status, would benefit from greater access to food and nutrition programs and services. 

Given the federal cost-containment policy to rebalance long-term care away from nursing homes to home- and community-based services, it is the position of the Academy that all older adults should have access to food and nutrition programs and services that ensure the availability of safe, adequate food to promote optimal nutritional status and the services of a registered dietitian nutritionist. Appropriate food and nutrition programs include adequately funded food assistance and meal programs, nutrition education, screening, assessment, counseling, therapy, monitoring, evaluation and outcomes documentation to ensure more healthful aging.

For those older adults who require long-term residential services, the Academy is committed to the requirement that this population be under the care of a nutrition professional who will assure adequate intake of safe and nutritious food that meets the individual's medical and social needs.