Community organisations

The majority (93%) of people who are undernourished are living in the community. For many people, a combination of support services can provide a way for them to remain independent and healthy.

Community projects including day centres, lunch clubs, shopping support services, befriending services and community meals have been found to successfully address many of the causes of malnutrition.

Services can provide practical support to overcome some of the difficulties older people face with eating – including help with shopping and cooking – as well as raise awareness and provide practical advice of the importance of keeping to a healthy weight in later life. Building opportunities for conversations with clients about weight loss or difficulties eating or drinking, and regular screening, is vital to identify any issues and signpost to further support in the community.

There are screening tools that have been developed for use by community groups and volunteers, including the Nutrition Wheel. More information about screening for malnutrition is available here.

The Malnutrition Task Force has also produced resources and practical advice for older people. Copies can be ordered by emailing  


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