Improving nutrition in older adults can improve quality of life and support independence, increase muscle and bone mass, mobility and wound healing. Screening for nutrition risk can identify those in need of nutritional interventions. In this presentation, we will review previous research documenting the prevalence of moderate and high nutrition risk in Alberta as well as evidence that interventions are efficacious and save money. We will provide an overview of an Alberta initiative to support routine screening of older adults by diverse community organizations. We will demonstrate that our work with community partners, both within and outside the healthcare system, increased access to nutrition risk screening, referrals and community supports and that screening was both feasible and appropriate. We will identify gaps in communicating nutrition risk and providing referrals to older adults that still need to be solved. Finally, we will present tools we developed to support scale and spread of nutrition risk screening in the community.
Catherine Chan PhD is Professor of Nutrition and Physiology at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. She has many research interests including pre-clinical research on the healthful properties of foods and the role of the gut microbiome in development of metabolic diseases. She is also active in research on the development, implementation and evaluation of nutrition and physical activity programs to improve diabetes outcomes. Most recently, she has led evaluation of screening for nutrition risk in community-dwelling older adults in different settings. She has published over 140 peer reviewed papers and co-authored the Nutrition Therapy chapter of the 2018 Diabetes Canada Clinical Practice Guidelines. In addition, with Dr. Rhonda Bell, she published the menu plan and recipe book “Pure Prairie Eating Plan” to assist people with diabetes to stick to a healthy diet.