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Undernutrition luncheon clubs

Undernutrition luncheon club

As the temperature drops and winter approaches, the elderly are more at risk than most, not only from the cold, but also from isolation and, in particular, undernutrition.

Our Dieticians are launching a new service, Healthcall Undernutrition, and want to identify older people living in the town who would benefit from being invited to a series of lunches, run in partnership with Age UK Darlington, where they can get advice, information and enjoy a free two-course hot meal.   The lunches will start later this month at three venues across Darlington; Redhall Community Centre, Dinsdale Court, Middleton St George, and the Havelock Centre, off North Road.

Catherine McShane, specialist dietician, explained, "Following assessment, patients will be referred to come for lunch fortnightly for three months, where they will be able to weigh themselves and have access to specialist advice. This regular monitoring means we'll be able to identify anyone who is losing weight and offer on-going support. Hand held devices provided by digital technology company, Inhealthcare, enable volunteers from Age UK Darlington to submit information about the patient's weight and appetite, using an app.  A clinician can then review this information and get in touch with any patients they're concerned about.

  "Age UK Darlington has shared with us their expertise in arranging lunch clubs and the food will be provided by our caterers so this really is about partners working together for the benefit of the vulnerable elderly people in our community.

"The lunches start this month and, although, referrals will come via district nurses and GPs, we really want to hear from anyone who thinks they might benefit from attending, so we can undertake an initial assessment."

Gillian Peel, chief executive of Age UK Darlington, said, "Many older people live alone and may not have the motivation to make a proper meal, with the consequence that they unintentionally lose weight.  Social isolation can also be a problem for this age group and the added benefit of the lunch clubs is the chance they offer to mix with others in a similar situation.  We're delighted to be part of this project which will enable people to be supported whilst enjoying a fun social occasion.

To talk about whether you, or someone you know, would benefit from attending, please contact Catherine, on 07717 480208 or Dave Regan, activities co-ordinator at Age UK Darlington on 01325 362832." 


Published: 24 November 2016

'The treatment I have received from all the staff has been excellent and could you extend my thanks to them all. A very thankful and relieved patient'.

Patient, Dermatology Outpatients Department, University Hospital of North Durham