Service Communautaire d'Information sur la Recherche et le Développement - CORDIS

Final Report Summary - NUTRISENEX (Improving the quality of life of elderly people by coordinating research into malnutrition of the frail elderly)

The ultimate aim of the NUTRISENEX project was to improve the quality of life of the elderly. The project was expected to reflect the frail elderly constant care need by others. The specific objectives of the project were to coordinate research into the nutrition of the elderly, to improve their quality of life, as well as to reduce public health costs through the prevention of nutrition related diseases and to encourage the development of nutritionally-balanced food products especially designed for the elderly. NUTRISENEX aimed to enhance understanding concerning the dietary requirements of this target population group which is often vulnerable to diseases, as well as the way that their nutrition could assist or hinder their healthy ageing. This would encourage the development and marketing of food products that are specifically designed for the altered sensory perceptions of these people and especially of those whose food is selected by professional people.

The project consisted of seven Work packages (WPs), the objectives and results of which are stated below:

The objective of the first WP1 concerned the overall project coordination, namely it administered the resources for all project meetings, as well as it developed the project's website.

WP2: Mapping of current research activities and centres of excellence
A state-of-the-aft review was conducted using literature and patent searches performed by members of the project. Further literature and patent searches on an annual basis ensured that the project's members remain abreast of the latest developments in the field. Another key strand was a mapping of centres of excellence actively involved in nutrition and care research in the research into nutrition and care for the elderly, which could be used to identify the leading players in the European Research Area (ERA) in preparation for an expansion of the consortium and identification of topics for future research projects. The integration of information into the database of European research activities can be regarded as the major outcome from this section of the work plan. Furthermore, the analysis of its effectiveness by questionnaire was used to gauge its ease-of-use and improve it. Identification of the leading players in the ERA was the other main milestone.

WP3: Coordination of European research activities
Another aim of the project was to bring European researchers and experts from universities, food institutes, food industry and organisations together to discuss and recommend research topics within the area of ageing, food, nutrition, and health. The activities within this WP were divided into two main tasks, namely the organisation of research coordination seminars and the organisation of expert group discussions. The purpose of the research co-ordination seminars was to get a state-of-the-art description of on-going European research focusing on healthy ageing. Three public seminars were organised. Special emphasis was laid on the following topics: ageing and nutrition, ageing, chemoreception, changes in sensory capabilities, ageing, life style, and food choice. The purpose of the expert group discussions was mainly to identify research needs in some areas of high relevance to healthy ageing. The selected themes, which reflected the special expertise of those who participated were ageing and nutrition (needs, risks, and recommendations), sensory capability and food perception, healthy ageing in relation to lifestyle.

WP4: Analysis of legislations and recommendations for the future
WP4 built a complete picture of existing legislation at a European, national and local level regarding food provision, focusing on any controlling legislation or recommended standards specifically for the care industry. The effect of current legislation on the provision of food in institutions, care homes, etc. was assessed, and strategies that such institutions have adopted to enact or bypass such legislative developments were highlighted. Beneficial effects of this legislation were reported, containing also a description of potential drawbacks or areas of further improvement.

WP5: Mapping of product development
The task of this WP was to construct a database of interested food producers and manufacturers, research institutions, and non-governmental agencies involved in food, nutritional, or gerontological research. Activities which aimed at the promotion of the uptake of healthier food for the frail and institutionalised elderly were studied and their effectiveness was gauged. By applying these findings, and results from other parts of the NUTRI-SENEX project, a short report was produced detailing how best to encourage the uptake of foods designed to promote long-life and well-being amongst this vulnerable, and ever more numerous, sector of society. The main milestone was the identification of industrially relevant Research and technological development (RTD) findings.

WP6: Implementation strategies
In order to decide which strategies to employ in the short, medium, and long term, implementation strategies aimed to form contacts with key stakeholders involved in policymaking and strategy workshops were used. The results were then applied to balance the needs of elderly people and food providers with the interests of the general public and of food manufacturers. Taking into account the conclusions from the two implementation workshops, a booklet containing recommendations directed to workers of care homes (managers, nurses and care-staff and cooks) as well as to elderly and their relatives and friends was prepared.

WP7: Dissemination and technology transfer
The aim of this WP was the dissemination of the project results and the technology transfer. These objectives were carried out by the establishment of a web site, by the organisation of technology transfer workshops and staff secondments. Moreover, the general project promotion was realised by promotional leaflets, posters, and presentations distributed to the main stakeholders on conferences and trade fairs. In order to increase the recall-value of this project a unique logo was developed by the coordinator.

Informations connexes

Reported by

Dr. Karl Lueger-Ring, 1
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