Heather Keller, Professor/Chair Nutrition & Aging

Kinesiology & Health Sciences
University of Waterloo

Using Community Partnerships to Spread Nutrition Risk Screening in Older Adults

Nutrition risk is common in older adults living in the community. A high prevalence necessitates working in partnership and across disciplines to screen, identify and refer clients at risk to appropriate community services to meet their needs. In Canada, nutrition screening, specifically in the older adult segment, is not a consistent practice. Prior research has been conducted to create feasible, valid and reliable tools appropriate for this target population, and evidence suggests that triaging at risk clients to dietitians for treatment is beneficial for supporting nutrition and health goals. Yet, creating feasible models that can be sustained has been elusive. This session will highlight the importance of building and sustaining partnerships to develop screening processes and tools to support management post screening in older adults living in Alberta.

Speaker/Chair Bio:

Heather Keller RD PhD FDC FCAHS is the Schlegel Research Chair in Nutrition & Aging at the University of Waterloo. She is an internationally recognized expert in geriatric nutrition, assessment, and treatment.  Research areas focus on nutrition risk and malnutrition identification and treatment across care sectors; improving nutrition care processes and implementing screening and other best practices; supporting food intake of diverse groups living in the community, including those living with dementia; and improving hospital and residential food and promoting food intake and the mealtime experience in these settings. Professor Keller has led several national research and knowledge translation projects, including the landmark Nutrition Care in Canadian Hospitals, More-2-Eat and Making the Most of Mealtimes in Long Term Care studies. Professor Keller has published more than 250 peer-reviewed articles and translates much of this evidence into practice with tools and resources.  As a founding member and past chair/co-chair (2009-2018) of the Canadian Malnutrition Task Force, she is involved in translating research into practice and advocating for improvements in nutrition care. She is currently the co-chair of the primary care working group for CMTF and involved in several national and international expert groups advancing the prevention, detection and treatment of malnutrition.