Dáil Éireann - Volume 448 - 26 January, 1995
Written Answers. - Care of the Elderly.
Mr. B. O'Keeffe Mr. B. O'Keeffe
30. Mr. B. O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to the fact that 30 per cent of elderly people are undernourished; the steps, if any, which are being taken by his Department in relation to this matter; and the co-ordination of activity which is in place between the Department of Social Welfare and the Department of Health. [1169/95]
Minister for Health (Mr. Noonan, Limerick East) Michael Noonan
Minister for Health (Mr. Noonan, Limerick East): I am not aware of any evidence that 30 per cent of the elderly are undernourished. Indeed, a report published by the National Council for the Elderly, on measures to promote health and autonomy for older people, indicates that most elderly persons in Ireland are fit, independent, live in good housing and are reasonably well-off. The council is currently engaged in a major study of the health and well being of a national sample of over 900 older people. While not yet finalised, I understand that the study re-inforces the findings of earlier research, namely, that most elderly people are living independently and, despite an expected degree of serious illness, more than half report themselves to be in good health. I look forward to receiving the results of this study.
The Health Promotion Unit of my Department has published many leaflets and booklets on promoting a healthy diet among adults in general. Two publications particular to the elderly are  “Healthy Eating for the Elderly”, and “Healthy Eating for the Diabetic Elderly'. Those leaflets are presently under review.
Dáil Éireann 448 Written Answers. Care of the Elderly.