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Care to reduce elderly malnutrition

21st November 2005

More action is needed to reduce the number of elderly Scots who suffer from malnutrition, according to pressure groups.

Following recent research which showed that an increasing amount of older people in the country are living below the poverty line, the groups have called on the Scottish Executive to tackle the issue and provide more care services.

Malnutrition was found to be a growing problem among the elderly, as many live alone in isolated locations and do not receive the levels of attention that care homes can provide.

"Many old people become malnourished because of poverty, and because no-one is looking after them. They often become isolated," commented David Manion, chief executive of Age Concern Scotland.

SNP health spokesperson Shona Robison has called for an immediate inquiry into the results, which showed that deaths from malnutrition has risen from 40 to 99 over the last ten years, to determine the cause of the increase and find ways of improving the situation.