A CAMPAIGN launched in Ashby this month aims to keep people over 60 informed on what constitutes a balanced diet as they age.
WA’s falls prevention program, Stay On Your Feet and the Injury Control Council of WA launched the ‘Fuel Your Body’ campaign at Lake Joondalup Lifestyle Village on February 1.
Consultant nutritionist Sarah Moore said it was normal to see a decrease in appetite as people’s metabolism slows as they got older and energy needs decreased.
“However, this doesn’t mean that your need for nutrients decreases and this is what many older people may not realise,” Ms Moore said.
“A good diet helps you stay active, healthy and independent for longer and less prone to chronic health problems and I don’t think it’s ever too late to adopt healthy habits.”
The campaign also looks at the impact of hydration as people age and how alcohol affects the body.
Ms Moore said between the ages of 20 and 80, the amount of water the body can store decreases by six litres, making older adults increasingly susceptible to dehydration.
“Dehydration can make you feel tired and confused and can lead to constipation and is also a significant contributor to falls and older adults being hospitalised,” she said.
In reference to the impact of alcohol as the body ages, Ms Moore said although many people are able to enjoy an occasional social drink without any harm, it was important to realise that alcohol was a carcinogen.
“As we get older the body breaks down alcohol more slowly and you may find yourself more sensitive to its effects which can make you more prone to falls,” she said.
The Stay On Your Feet program, funded by the Health Department, aims to reduce the incidence of falls and falls related injuries in older adults in the community.
Injury prevention manager Rachel Meade said the campaign was designed to give older adults some basic information around food, alcohol and water consumption that was simple, cost effective and age appropriate.
She said malnutrition in older adults was a problem that could lead to impaired muscle function and potential decreased bone density and an increase in falls-related morbidity.
For more information, call 1300 30 35 40 or visit www.stayonyourfeet.com.au .