The Ministry of Public Health (MSP), presented this Wednesday the “Protocol for the nutritional and integral management of the elderly”, with the aim of contributing to the reduction of physical deterioration, disability and morbidity and mortality related to nutrition in this population, through its Elderly program, a dependency of the Life Course Department of the Population Health Directorate.
The activity was headed by Dr. Eladio Pérez, Vice-Minister of Collective Health, who said that this document would establish a national reference for the nutritional assessment of hospitalized, institutionalized or ambulatory elderly people, to guide the identification and timely treatment of malnutrition.
She pointed out that, according to statistical data from the National Council for the Elderly (CONAPE), by the year 2021, there were approximately 1,257,703 older adults in the Dominican Republic, 52.6% of whom were women and 47.4% were men.
Dr. Patricia Grullón, director of the nutrition program of the MSP, said that malnutrition can have a significant impact on the evolution of chronic and acute diseases in the elderly, so that an adequate assessment of nutritional status is essential for early detection of malnutrition and to determine risk situations.
He said that “it is important in this population to avoid excesses, but also deficiencies, and it is very important to be physically active”.
He recommended that, when feeding this population, factors such as: food textures, presentation, taste, and very importantly, that it has the necessary requirements needed by older adults, should be taken into account.
He emphasized that the protocol is aimed at people over 65 years of age, for the use of general medical personnel, geriatricians, internists, neurologists, nutritionists, cardiologists, endocrinologists, diabetologists, gastroenterologists, resident physicians, nurses, emergency physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, dentists, caregivers and family members.
In the activity were recognized the Ministry’s collaborators Sixta Villamán, director of the Hogar Ángeles Felices, with 44 years of service; Rafael de los Santos (Saludito), with 27 years of impeccable work; Reyes Andrés Gutiérrez, with 20 years of work with dedication and high level of responsibility; Elías Tejeda, coordinator of the Mental Health Department, for his efforts, great dedication and commitment for the welfare of the population and Dr. Luz Mercedes, with more than 30 years of work in the Dominican State in favor of the rights of the elderly.