Nutrition intervention and physical training in malnourished frail community-dwelling elderly subjects carried out by trained lay buddies
The proposed study's is to improve the nutrition status and perform a structured strength training in malnourished, frail or prefrail community-dwelling elderly subjects. For this purpose it engages elderly, lay, fit (robust) subjects who work voluntarily as buddies for malnourished frail subjects with regards to their nutritional status and strength training. These buddies will visit the malnourished frail subjects at home twice a week, take care of their food storage, talk about nutrition and nutrition-related problems, and perform a strength training together with the frail subjects with the help of a DVD, video or with a trainings portfolio. In this project, the health status of both (frail malnourished subjects and buddies) is expected to improve, due to the active engagement with nutrition and physical training. Additionally, the social networks and social interaction of both parties will be strengthened because of the project and will additionally increase health resources and quality of life. For a sufficient program tackling the problem of frailty in elderly subjects the right structures and settings will be considered carefully. These have to guarantee that the programme is accepted by the malnourished frail persons and that the structure is sustainable and not merely set in a project with an expiry date. The results of the project will be disseminated on a broad basis to health stakeholders to encourage the adoption of the model in public health measure to reduce burden of frailty on the individual and on the health budget. The health status of (pre)frail persons and buddies is evaluated at the beginning of the study, after 10 weeks and six months. One Year after the official end of training an additional health check will be done. The study is designed as a randomized controlled trial. After 10 weeks - after the first health status check the control group will also be given the same treatments as the intervention group, in order to let them also benefit from expected health gains. Hypothesis: A nutrition and strength training intervention in elderly malnourished frail subjects, carried out by lay trainedvolunteers (buddies), will improve the health status of both: buddies and frail malnourished subjects.