Nutrition in Geriatrics

Discuss nutrition in geriatrics?

An elderly subject is usually defined, in western countries, as a person over the age of 65 (WHO). A geriatric patient is an elderly subject who needs geriatric care due to a loss of independence caused by acute and/or chronic diseases (often multiple pathology) with related limitations in physical, psychological, mental, cognitive and/or social functions. Muscle mass deficit, i.e. sarcopenia, is a frequent comorbid situation.

Is EN indicated after orthopaedic surgery in geriatric patients?

Oral Nutritional Supplements (ONS) are recommended in geriatric patients after hip fracture and orthopaedic surgery in order to reduce complications.

Can EN prevent or improve pressure ulcers in geriatric patients?
ONS, particular high protein ONS, can reduce the risk of developing pressure ulcers. Based on positive clinical experience, EN is also recommended in order to improve healing of pressure ulcers

Wound healing in elderly patients may be improved by the administration of supplements containing protein and micronutrients that are involved in wound healing (zinc, arginine, carotenoids, vitamins A, C and E). Crucial for the effect of these nutrients is the local circulation in the pressure ulcer area, which determines effective nutrient transport and local metabolism as well as removal of toxic cell products. Besides the correction of nutrient deficiencies, the correct positioning of the patient to allow optimal blood circulation to the pressure area and to minimise further tissue damage is crucial.


  1. ESPEN guidelines

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