University of Massachusetts Amherst

It's MORE Than A Meal


Special Nutrition Needs of Older Adults

determining nutritional risk

Older adults who consume low levels of nutrients may be at risk for poor nutrition. The risk may be compounded by self-medication, alcohol, disease, dental problems, or physical limitations. Identifying problems early may help older adults to live longer, healthier lives.

The Nutrition Screening Initiative has developed a screening tool called Determine Your Nutritional Health (see an adapted version titled Nutritional Risk Checklist) to assess nutritional risk in older adults. The goal of the checklist is to identify potentially high-risk adults before the appearance of any signs or symptoms of poor nutrition. This tool helps to determine whether an older adult might need medical or nutritional assistance. You should refer any high-risk older adult to a dietitian, physician, or other heath care professional.

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Developed for the Massachusetts Department of Education Child and Adult Care Food Program by the University of Massachusetts Extension Nutrition Education Program. Permission is hereby granted by the Massachusetts Department of Education to copy any or all parts of this document for non-commercial educational purposes. The Massachusetts Department of Education, an Affirmative Action employer, is committed to ensuring that all of its programs and facilities are accessible to all members of the public. We do not discriminate on the basis of age, color, disability, national origin, race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation.