The Malnutrition Prevention Project announced on Sunday (22 December) is a welcome initiative for an issue that has long been neglected. Malnutrition and dehydration among older people needs to be addressed before it turns into an epidemic.

Yet, as much as we support this Project, it is only a pilot. We need to tackle one of the major underlying causes of malnutrition in the first place – loneliness- and this requires wide scale action.

Let’s give older people a positive lifestyle choice so they aren’t left alone in the community, often without the will or the way to feed themselves. This means creating an environment that focuses on giving them a reason for being, where they have companionship as well as healthy and nutritious food. Only then will we start to see long term change.