Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors
Search in posts
Search in pages

Emergency Department

Malnutrition Week October 2-6, 2023

Stronger together. The 1 in 3 older adults in the community at nutrition risk  and the 2 in 3 people in long term care with malnutrition are counting on their health care teams to work together to address malnutrition. This year, Malnutrition Week from October 2-6th is focused on making team based care even better for those at risk of and those living with malnutrition. Take a look at the ideas below to see how to help prevent and treat malnutrition.

Patients and residents

  • Tell your healthcare team if you have lost weight without trying or are eating less than usual or don’t feel like eating.

Health care aides

  • Help with meal set up and assist the person to eat as needed.
  • Measure patient/resident weights and talk with the team if you notice poor food intake or weight loss.


  • Avoid cleaning rooms on the unit when meals are being served.
  • Help patients and families keep beside tables clear for meals and uneaten food properly stored.

Food Services

  • Serve nutrient dense, appealing food that considers culture, likes and dislikes.
  • Ensure food is available during the day and after food service hours too.

Allied Health

  • Identify patients at nutrition risk such as those living with food insecurity or unable to do their own shopping or cooking.
  • Suggest least restrictive diets that are still safe for the patient or resident.
  • Use medications to help when intake is poor (to reduce nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, pain, etc.)
  • Develop plans that support best seating, position, support and tools at meal times.


  • Screen patients and residents for nutrition risk and work as a team to create a plan.
  • Encourage family and friends to bring in food and stay for meal time visit if patient/resident is not eating well.
  • Decrease mealtime interruptions.


  • Diagnose, document and treat malnutrition. Don’t forget nutrition as part of discharge plans.
  • Order diets with few restrictions and Medpass (high energy drink to take with medications) when appropriate.
  • Say No to NPO (nothing by mouth)

Family, friends and volunteers

  • Talk to the care team if you have concerns about your family member/friend’s weight loss or decreased food intake.
  • Assist your family member/friend with setting up at meals and help them to eat as much as possible from what is served.
  • Provide company during meals

For more ideas in how we can be Stronger Together against malnutrition, check out: Involving Everyone in Nutrition Care or


Public Health Agency of Canada PHAC. (2010). The chief public health officer’s report on the state of public health in Canada 2010 – Growing older: adding life to years. 

Keller H, Vucea V, Slaughter SE, Jager-Wittenaar H, Lengyel C, Ottery FD, Carrier N. Prevalence of Malnutrition or Risk in Residents in Long Term Care: Comparison of Four Tools. J Nutr Gerontol Geriatr. 2019 Oct-Dec;38(4):329-344. doi: 10.1080/21551197.2019.1640165. Epub 2019 Jul 23. PMID: 31335280.
Ramage-Morin et al. Health Reports 2013
Schuetz et al. Lancet 2019;
Howatson et al. J Prim Health Care 2015

Skip to content