Age UKs in Yorkshire and Humber are supporting the directive by the NHS to impose mandatory food standards in hospitals, and call for support to help older people once they leave hospital.
The charities in Calderdale, Kirklees and Doncaster are launching the Eatwell and Livewell project, funded by the Department of Health, to help older people whose health is suffering because they are underweight.
Victoria Ferres, Chief Office of Age UK Doncaster said: “We want hospital staff to know that there is support for older people to improve their diet and their quality of life once they leave hospital.
“There are many reasons why older people have a poor diet, it could be cost, or they can’t get out to the shops anymore; it could be because carers are struggling to cope with all the other aspects of their lives, or they may have lost interest in food following ill health.
“Staff at Age UKs in Doncaster, Calderdale and Kirklees can support older people and their carers to change a few things that will make a big difference.”
When hospitals are developing their food and drink policy as stipulated by the new mandatory NHS standards, Age UKs in the region are urging them to consider what will happen to older people once they leave hospital.
The charity said over 3 million people across the UK are either malnourished or at risk of malnourishment. Over one million are over the age of 65.
The Eatwell and Livewell Project wants to make a difference to those people it can reach in Calderdale, Kirklees and Doncaster.
Loneliness and eating alone is another factor influencing how older people eat.