TCD team to study eating habits of elderly

An Irish study will examine whether eating well and having company at mealtimes help older people to live independently for longer.

Researchers at Trinity College Dublin want 100 people over the age of 60 who are living alone at home to take part in the two-year research project.

Around 50 volunteers — trained and Garda-vetted — will spend time with the older people planning and preparing the meals that they will eat together.

It is reckoned that between five and 15% of older people across the EU, including Ireland, may be living with malnutrition.

Malnutrition can contribute to frailty and can also impair important cognitive functions like memory. Cognition is critical, not only for mental health, but also for physical health and social and emotional well-being.

Another risk for older adults is that of social isolation due to illness, frailty and bereavement.

A report by the Irish Longitudinal Study of Ageing shows that 6% of adults aged over 60 are at risk of social isolation.

The research project, called ‘RelAte’, is being undertaken by researchers at the Neuro-Enhancement for Independent Lives (NEIL) Programme at Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience.

It seeks to show that bolstering social and nutritional support for isolated older persons has a knock-on positive effect on their cognitive function, physical health, mental well-being and possibly their risk of mortality.

‘RelAte’ has received a €365,000 grant from Home Instead Senior Care.

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

More in this Section

US claims over Cork to Boston route false, says mayor

Proposed Limerick bridge ‘would encourage suicide’

Electric Ireland to cut home bills by 6%

Luas drivers resolved to continue action despite 10% pay cut


You might also like

Breaking Stories

Extend fuel allowance to cover cold spell requests Sinn Fein TD

Sinn Féin have 'no confidence' in new minority Government

PSNI investigation following discovery of man's body in Co Down

Lucky escape for couple who avoided injury following arson attack

Lifestyle

Enda Walsh says working with Bowie on Broadway hit Lazarus was a ‘ridiculous honour’

Actress Maire Nic Shiubhlaigh played an important role in the Easter Rising

Ask Audrey has been sorting out Cork people for years

Can this humble syrup ward off Alzheimer’s Disease?

More From The Irish Examiner