Preventing Malnutrition

To successfully increase the nutrition standard in aged care, it is crucial to implement effective prevention and treatment strategies for malnutrition. Allied health and primary professionals are a valuable resource for conducting regular nutrition assessments and providing tailored dietary advice to meet the older adult’s nutritional needs. Monitoring for risk of malnutrition is especially important in older adults who are in isolation, have poor physical health and are moving between care settings. 
When implementing procedure around malnutrition prevention and treatment it would be useful to consider:

  • Allied health and primary care professionals – Dietitians, nutritionists and doctors can conduct malnutrition assessments in any aged care setting and provide recommendations for treatment through dietary changes, supplements or Medical Nutrition Therapy. [1] 
  • Malnutrition screening – To reduce the risk of malnutrition, it is recommended that older adults undergo malnutrition screening when first engaging in aged care supports and are reassessed periodically. This is especially important in transitional care when available resources change, and familiar environments are left. 
  • The Mini Nutritional Assessment is an example of a freely accessible screening tool for use by any aged care worker to assess risk of malnutrition. [2]  

Some useful resources on prevention of malnutrition are provided below: 

Quality Standards

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission are currently consulting on draft guidance resources to help providers, aged care workers and other stakeholders to understand the new strengthened Quality Standards and their roles and responsibilities in meeting them. Along with the new Aged Care Act, the strengthened Quality Standards are expected to be introduced from 1 July 2024.

For more information:

Draft Provider Guidance Standard 6 – Food and Nutrition

 Want to know more?

If you require more information on implementing an approach to delivering tasty, safe and nutritious meals in aged care: 

  1. Browse the nutrition resources.
  2. Look for research evidence within the PubMed database by using one of the PubMed searches provided here. PubMed contains brief information (‘citations’) on millions of research studies. It can therefore be challenging to search. Our librarian has made finding highly relevant information on this topic as simple as a click of a button. Click on All to see everything in the database on the topic or choose Full text to view only articles immediately available to you free of charge in full text.

Connect to PubMed evidence

If you wish to find out more about nutrition in aged care, try using one of the PubMed searches below. These links (all or full text) take you to the relevant research literature in the large international PubMed database.

  1. Improving patient outcomes through medical nutrition therapy [Internet]. Canberra, AU: Dietitians Australia; 2020 [cited 2024 February 02]. Available from:
  2. Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA) [Internet]. Vevey, SU: Nestle Nutrition Institute; 2022 [cited 2024 February 02]. Available from:
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