Good food keeps body and soul together whatever your age; and none more so than in the ‘golden years’. But malnutrition is becoming alarmingly common in our ageing population. Experts are gathering in Christchurch this week to learn from the latest research into keeping our seniors well by making meals matter.

Internationally-renowned specialist, Dr Mike Stroud from the UK, is in New Zealand to share his expertise and latest research findings with those caring for older people. “Appetite often decreases with increasing age, meaning older people need little and often to get enough,” says Dr Stroud. “Research shows supplements can help add extra nourishment to a declining intake.”

 New Zealand dietitians working at the forefront of this often under-recognised area of need will also be sharing their experiences and offering practical advice. “Awareness amongst care givers is a crucial first step,” says seminar organiser and Christchurch dietitian, Mrs Julian Jensen. “We hope to make delegates stop and think, and give realistic solutions they can use everyday. A milk pudding here or ten minutes longer over a meal there can make the difference between enough and not.”

Dr Richard Gearry, the NZ Nutritional Foundation Medical Director, will be chairing the session and is well aware of the problems older people face. “We are delighted to be offering the opportunity to hear from both local and international experts. New Zealanders are living longer nowadays. We want to add life to years, not just years to life,” he says.

The seminar, ‘Nutrition risk in older people: making meals matter’, is taking place on Wednesday 28th October 2009 from 4-6pm at the Hotel Grand Chancellor, 161 Cashel Street, Christchurch.

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