Community Service team provides integrated nutritional assistance towards healthy and productive elderly

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UNAIR NEWS – Getting old is natural, but staying healthy when you are old is something people can achieve. The process of achieving optimal health status for the elderly is different from that of young people. Various threats to social, economic, and physical changes require a separate adaptation process both for the elderly and for those who care for them.

Fulfilling nutritional needs appropriately is important in the process of adapting to physical and psychological changes in the elderly. When the body has reached the physiological maturity stage, there will be a change in the balance between the speed of the degeneration process and the body’s regeneration. The speed of the degeneration process exceeds the regeneration process which in turn can interfere with the effectiveness of cells’ role in the body resulting in a decrease in organ function.

The results of 2018 Basic Health Research (Riskesdas) showed that the proportion of disabilities in the elderly is mostly due to non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes mellitus, and rheumatism.

Based on the results in the previous review, it seems that the management of food intake and knowledge of nutrition in the old age home, UPTD Griya Wreda Surabaya, still needs improvement. In this regard, a team consisting of lecturers, alumni, and FKM UNAIR Nutrition students collaborated in an effort to improve the elderly’s quality of life through integrated nutrition assistance which was manifested in the form of community service activities.

This inaugural community service activity at UPTD Griya Wreda Surabaya was held on October 25, 2020. Dr. Sri Adiningsih, dr., MS., MCN provided education online to 45 elderly people while still implementing health protocols.

On that occasion, Dr. Sri Adiningsih explained that the regulation of balanced nutrition in line with the physiological conditions in the elderly is something that must be considered. She also gave tips for improving endurance amid COVID-19 pandemic. In this session, the team also provided the opportunity for the elderly to consult directly about nutritional problems they were experiencing.

Other activities carried out by the community service team were body composition measurement to review the nutritional status of the elderly, also taste sensitivity test as a means of sensory evaluation. The results of these measurements will then be given to the management of management of old age home as a reference for regulating nutritional intake of the elderly in UPTD Griya Wreda Surabaya.

In addition to direct education to the target audience, the team also carried out problem exploration and education to diet management personnel. Education was delivered by Farapti, dr., M.Gizi as the head of community service on applying a diet low in sugar, salt, fat on the daily menu of the elderly.

Following up on the problem of food management at UPTD Griya Wreda Surabaya, the team provided an output in the form of a new menu with a 7 day cycle to be given to the head as well as the diet management staff. This activity is expected to provide knowledge to the elderly as well as the manager of UPTD Griya Wreda Surabaya to create healthy and productive elderly. (*) Editor: Binti Q. Masruroh

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