Early detection of malnutrition is very important to start early nutrition plan that allows avoiding the complications associated with it. This situation is even worst for elderly, because of the frailty status and the importance to maintain optimal nutritional status to preserve quality of life of elderly in terms of vitality, functional ability even if there are other co-morbidities. But malnutrition is not easy to diagnose though standard examinations and major part of the population suffering malnutrition are overlooked (data suggested rates of malnutrition among hospitalized patients, of 50% in persons over 60 to 77% amongst patients over the age of 80[Kyle U et al. (2002) “Nutrition status in patients younger and older than 60 y at hospital admission: a controlled population study in 995 subjects” in Nutrition, Vol.18]).
Long-Term Care Homes are a perfect environment to spread the implementation and support routine of standardized screening tools of older patients. In this institutions merge two important situations, the first is that elderly are cared whole day or at least during the day for a long-term situation, and in general they are the most frailty ones (subjects with higher risk of adverse clinical outcomes, sick with different pathologies), this environment, they are always in the same place, cared by the same health staff, known social context, dietetic record, brings the possibility of intervention and analysis of impact.
The general objective of the project is to implement a screening programme of the nutritional status of older people in care homes using ICT as support for routine screening and providing customized guidelines for nutritional intervention. The screening programme will be implemented though MNA, the most frequently used screening test for malnutrition in elderly populations in Europe, and the nutritional guidelines should be developed by nutritional professionals totally customized to the elderly needs.
- Increase routine malnutrition screening in home car scenarios: Development of ICT tool, MUTRIPRO Application based on MNA specifications will suppose an appropriate tool to address timely, effectively and safety the nutritional needs at an environment of Long-Term Care Homes and Daily Care Homes. This objective will be measured through the number of malnutrition test carried out during the project compared to previous situation.
- Improve quality of life of patients: One of the most important specific objectives of the project should be at last to improve the quality of life of elderly and minimize the complications associated with malnutrition. A rapid assessment of the nutritional status the fragile elderly through and to intervene in this situation with the customized nutrition programme developed within the project.
- To raise awareness among health professionals about malnutrition in elderly and the importance of early detection and action: To achieve this objective the project will plan a very exhaustive dissemination plan in WP2. In this plan dissemination strategy will be planned in three different levels to achieve as much audience as possible: regional, national and international. In this context a regional event or workshop will be organized and it is planned the assistance to two international events.
- To analyse the impact of the tool and programme designed with significant number of users: This project is based on data collected from a cohort study with participants >65 years of age admitted to “Geroresidencias” centres whose nutritional status will be assessed during month 0, 6 and 12 when project begins.
Geroresidencias as a collaborating partner manages 17 Long-Term Care Homes and Daily Care Homes for elderly with 2100 users and 585 users of assisted living services in supportive housing.
- To assess the social impact of a proper screening of malnutrition in elderly: The project will realize a complete analysis of the impact of the actions carried out on malnutrition screening, identification of nutritional risks and support of ICT for routine screening of older patients. This social analysis will establish validation criteria and objectives, the related set of measurable indicators and the procedures through which the measurements will be recorded.