We are not supporting this browser

HCP
overlay

COVID-19 FAQs

Older people

Older people and those with pre-existing medical conditions may be more at risk from coronavirus. You should follow the government guidance to help reduce the spread of the virus and protect those groups most at risk. This includes social distancing, which means staying at least 2 metres (6 feet) from other people, and avoiding non-essential visits.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stay in contact with your friends and family. Try to find other means to communicate, such as by phone or video chat. Take some time to teach older relatives how to use these communication technologies as it can help provide them with some contact and support.

The government guidance may change, and you should check this daily for updates.

Older people and those with pre-existing medical conditions may be more at risk from coronavirus. You should follow the government guidance to help reduce the spread of the virus and protect those groups most at risk. This includes social distancing, which means staying at least 2 metres (6 feet) from other people, and avoiding non-essential visits. Many care homes do not allow visiting during times of social distancing. Other methods of communication, by phone of video chat, should be used when face-to-face visits are not possible.

The government guidance may change, and you should check this daily for updates.

Older adults and those with health conditions may be more at risk from coronavirus and should take precautions to reduce their risk. This includes limiting unnecessary exposure to other people and to poorly ventilated areas, and ensuring there is enough space (at least 2 metres/6 feet) between them and other people. Some people in these high-risk groups have taken the decision to self-isolate in order to minimise their risk, which means it can be much more difficult for them to get groceries.

It is sensible to check that your parents have enough supplies at home, including groceries, household items and medications. You can help them by doing their grocery shopping and delivering this to them – making sure to maintain social distancing measures when dropping off their groceries. You can also consider using home delivery services of groceries or meals to ensure that your parents have a supply of nutritious foods.

The government guidance may change, and you should check this daily for updates.

Older adults and those with health conditions may be more at risk from coronavirus and should take precautions to reduce their risk. This includes limiting unnecessary exposure to other people and poorly ventilated areas, and ensuring there is enough space (at least 2 metres/6 feet) between them and other people. Some people in these high-risk groups have taken the decision to self-isolate in order to minimise their risk, which means they may be unable to go out to the pharmacy themselves.

It is sensible to check that your parents have enough supplies at home, including any prescribed oral nutritional supplements (ONS) and medications. You can help them by collecting their ONS or medications from the pharmacy for them and delivering these to them – making sure to maintain social distancing measures when dropping these off. You can also discuss the situation with the pharmacy to understand what is to be expected and how to ensure continuity of supply over time, including options for home delivery.

The government guidance may change, and you should check this daily for updates.

Getting the right nutrition

Older people and those with pre-existing medical conditions are advised that they are at increased risk from coronavirus and have been advised to stay at home or self-isolate. These people may also be at increased risk of malnutrition especially if they are isolated, as social distancing and isolation may affect a person’s appetite and interest in food, and their ability to access enough of the different foods they need to stay healthy.

Malnutrition is a serious condition which can increase a person’s risk of infection as well as slowing down their recovery. Malnutrition can also lead to frailty, where our bodies become weaker and more vulnerable to infections, falls and needing extra care.

Unintentional weight loss due to disease or infection may be a sign of malnutrition. It is important to be aware of your weight and appetite, particularly if you are older or have a pre-existing medical condition, so that you can recognise the signs of malnutrition.

The Malnutrition Self Screening website has lots of information and useful tools to help you to check if you are losing too much weight and are at risk of becoming malnourished.

Malnutrition Self Screening website: www.malnutritionselfscreening.org/self-screening.html

ONS and Tube Feeds

Medical nutrition products, including oral nutritional supplements (ONS) and tube feeds, are specially formulated for patients with a diagnosed medical condition and must be used under medical supervision.

Being at risk from coronavirus does not necessarily mean that you need an ONS. However, some people who are prescribed an ONS – such as older adults and those with pre-existing medical conditions who are at risk from malnutrition – may be at increased risk of coronavirus too.

If you are already prescribed an ONS, you should continue to take your ONS as directed by your healthcare professional.

If you are already prescribed an ONS, you should continue with this as recommended by your healthcare professional.

If not, most people with coronavirus experience mild symptoms and will not require an ONS. If your symptoms are mild, you should follow the government advice on what to do. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids and eat regular meals. It may be useful to have frozen or ‘store cupboard’ foods (such as tinned vegetables, soups, fish, meats and dried rice and pasta) in your cupboard in case you begin to feel unwell, as these are easier to prepare. Ask for help from friends or family to deliver shopping or meals, whilst ensuring that you follow the precautions outlined by the government regarding contact with other people to avoid spreading the virus.

In some people, symptoms may be less mild. If you are feeling unwell or recovering from illness it can be hard to get all the energy and nutrients you need from your diet alone, especially if you have a poor appetite or symptoms that make eating and drinking difficult, for example persistent coughing, breathlessness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and loss of taste or smell. This can put you at risk of malnutrition, which can slow down your recovery. Having extra snacks, nourishing drinks and adding cream, butter and cheese to your meals whilst you have a poor appetite can help to increase the nutrition you get from your food. Specially formulated milkshake powders are also available to purchase from supermarkets or pharmacies, for those with a poor appetite who are struggling to manage to eat and drink enough. When this isn’t enough, ONS may be prescribed by a healthcare professional.

ONS are foods for special medical purposes and must be used under medical supervision. They provide additional energy, protein, vitamins and minerals which may be helpful when you are unable to get everything you need from food. If you have serious concerns about your appetite or weight, or that of a family member, you should speak to a healthcare professional.

In the minority of cases, coronavirus may cause serious illness. Health experts are still learning about how coronavirus affects people, but it appears that older people and people with pre-existing medical conditions can develop serious illness more often than others. If you develop very serious illness as a result of coronavirus your healthcare professional will make this assessment and recommend the right medical nutrition for you.

If you are having problems taking your medical nutrition, contact your healthcare professional for advice. Make sure you follow government advice about how to contact your healthcare professional to help reduce the spread of the virus.

Coronavirus is a respiratory virus that is spread from infected people by droplets e.g. from coughing or by people in close contact. Globally, regulators and respected scientific bodies, such as the World Health Organisation and European Food Safety Authority, have released statements that the risk of infection from food products and/or packaging is negligible.

Nutricia is taking all necessary precautions and measures to ensure total product safety by applying high product safety standards and quality controls throughout the supply chain, from the sourcing of our raw material and packaging to the delivery of our products. Our manufacturing standards ensure that our finished products are safe for handling and consumption when released onto the market. Our distributors will typically have systems in place to ensure our products are also handled under good hygienic practices. The best way for people to protect themselves is to follow the government guidance for good hygiene practices including hand washing with soap and water (or sanitiser gel) for at least 20 seconds. You should wash your hands after handling any objects in a public space, and before preparing, delivering or consuming ONS or tube feeding products.

Always check the label of your ONS or tube feeding products for instructions about how to prepare, take and store them.

Coronavirus is a respiratory virus that is spread from infected people by droplets e.g. from coughing or by people in close contact. Children/adults with pre-existing medical conditions may be more at risk from coronavirus. You should follow government guidance on hand washing, respiratory hygiene and social distancing to help protect yourself and those you care for. You should wash your hands after handling any objects in a public space, and before preparing, delivering or using a feeding tube. Ensure the child/adult you are caring for knows the importance of this guidance as well.

If you, or the child/adult you are caring for, contract coronavirus, you should follow the government guidance on what to do and seek medical advice as needed.

The government guidance may change, and you should check this daily for updates.

Nutricia is closely monitoring the supply and demand of all its medical nutrition products to ensure that those who need these products can continue to receive them.

If you are concerned, or require specific information, you should speak to your pharmacy (making sure to maintain social distancing measures) or contact us via our Resource Centre on 03457 623 653.

If you use Homeward services, you can contact our Nutricia Homeward service if you have concerns or need specific information.

Nutricia Homeward website: https://www.nutriciahomeward.co.uk/Contact_Us/

Tel: 0800 093 3672

Where can I get more information?

This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always follow advice given by your healthcare provider, your national and local public health authority, as national and local authorities will have the most up to date information for your region. If you have any questions or concerns, seek the advice of a healthcare professional.

You may also be interested in

Nutricia uses cookies on this website. With your consent we will use them to measure and analyze usage of the website (analytical cookies), to tailor it to your interests (personalisationall cookies), and to present you relevant advertising and information (targeting cookies). For more information please read the cookie policy.

Privacy Settings

You can choose your preferences anytime for cookies and tracking. For more information please read our cookie policy.

  • Strictly necessary

    They are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services (setting your privacy preferences, logging in, filling in forms, etc.). You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work.

  • Analytical cookies

    They allow us to count visits and traffic sources, to measure and improve the performance of our site. They show us which pages are the most and least popular and how visitors move around the site. If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.

  • Personalisation cookies

    They enable website’s enhanced functionality and personalisation. They may be set by us or by third parties whose services we have added to our pages. If you do not allow these cookies, some or all of these services may not function properly.

  • Targeting cookies

    They may be set through our site by our advertising partners, to build a profile of your interests and to show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.