The benefits of geriatric training to nutritionists and related professionals.

The Nutrition and Clinical Dietetics section of HeSSRA is designed to participate in national and international networks of study and research of aging, including local nutrition improvement programs, as well as national, state and regional organizations dealing with aging, for the implementation of healthy elderly nutrition.

HeSSRA also aims to to strengthen networks of organizations involved in providing specialized nutritional services for elderly people and to provide training and technical assistance to these organizations.

Furthermore, HeSSRA endeavors to advocate the role of nutrition in health promotion and disease prevention, and to promote scientific and clinical data supporting this principle.  Additionally, the Society strives to translate scientific knowledge into clinical practice and guidelines.

Further details:

Ageing is characterized by reduced organic reserves, decreased homeostatic control and increased heterogeneity among individuals. Genetic and environmental factors both influence the course of ageing. Increasing age leads to alterations in metabolism and to a reduction of physical activity.  These changes significantly contribute to the reduction in energy requirements observed in the elderly as compared to younger adults.

The nutritional needs of the elderly are determined by factors such as specific morbidities and health problems associated with organ function decline, reductions in activity level, energy consumption, and caloric requirements; accessibility to food, preparation of meals, swallowing and digestion of food; and personal dietary preferences.

Elderly quality of life is significantly improved by Dietitians' efforts.  These efforts directly impact various settings, such as optimal nutrition or nutritional therapy in hospitals, long-term care facilities, assisted living, home care and care programs community-based diet; the food service and related industries; correctional institutions, government programs; or indirectly, through administration, education and scientific research specifically related to gerontological nutrition

HeSSRA supports education and scientific research concerning the dietary assessment of older adults; the etiology, assessment and treatment of weight loss, overeating or malnutrition, poor nutrition, and deficiencies of common nutrients. Moreover HeSSRA is active in research on aging and longevity associated with nutrition and eating habits.

Scientific Expertise in Geriatrics, Geriatric Nutrition, Nutritional Education and Research through:

- Networking Seminars (webinars)

- Meetings

- Workshops

- Events

- Scientific Conferences

- Professional Training and Education

Educational Subjects in the field of nutrition and clinical dietetics of HeSSRA include:

- Nutritional assessment

- Assessment of body composition

- Assessment of energy requirements

- Sarcopenia - dietary prevention and treatment

- Malabsorption - dietary prevention and treatment

- Interaction of drugs and food ingredients

- Tools for the risk assessment of geriatric morbidities

- Evaluation of risk factors in the elderly: restrictive diets, malnutrition, dysphagia, changes in eating habits, chewing problems, decreased appetite, depression, alcoholism, and chronic diseases related to long-term medication.

- Enteral nutrition: evaluation of oral nutritional supplements (ONS) and enteral tube feeding (TF)

- Parenteral nutrition

- Palliative care  nutrition

The three main objectives of HeSSRA at Community level are:

1.Improving the nutritional status of the elderly

2.Improved functional status, general well-being and quality of life of the elderly

3.Longevity with reduced morbidity

Organizations - Links

ESPEN (European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism),

BDA (British Dietetic Association),

EFAD (European Federation of the Association of Dietitians),

Hellenic Dietetics Association (Greece),

HCPC (Health and Care Professions Council, UK)