Public Health Nutrition

Research Article

Guidelines for nutrition support in the elderly

A Miján de la Torrea1 c1, B de Mateo Sillerasa2 and A Pérez-Garcíaa3

a1 Department of Internal Medicine (Nutrition), General Yagüe Hospital, Avda Cid 96, E-09005 Burgos, Spain

a2 Research Unit, General Yagüe Hospital, Burgos, Spain

a3 F García-Lorca Primary Health Care Centre (Insalud), Burgos, Spain

Abstract

Nutritional support in the elderly not only co-operates inpharmacological treatment but also very often is a primary therapy for their health. The type of artificial nutrition (AN) to use will depend on the present illness and the previous health record. Due to the fact that enteral feeding (EF) is less expensive and aggressive we should use EF whenever possible, leaving parenteral nutrition (PN) for specific situations where EF should not be used. AN, if properly prescribed, formulated, administered and monitored, is safe as long as qualified personnel are trained in its use. Combined AN (oral, enteral and parenteral) allows a step-by-step improvement that could lead to final oral feeding. Finally, while it is true that age should not be considered in isolation as a contraindication for AN, we should be aware that, in final life stages, oral feeding can be the only satisfaction left for the elderly.

Correspondence

c1 *Corresponding author: Email mijan@hgy.es, mijan@uninet.edu

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