An investigation into nutritional aspects of care in long stay establishments for elderly people

Flett, Jacqueline Mary (1998) An investigation into nutritional aspects of care in long stay establishments for elderly people. MSc(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

Demographic projections indicate that there will be an increase in the number of elderly people over the next century. This has major implications for the caring sector as requirements for care increase with age. Nutrition has a vital role in the maintenance of health and quality of life. However, nutritional care may have a low priority in some long-term care settings. A higher than expected prevalence of low body weight and inadequate dietary intake in long-term care has raised concern due to the morbidity and mortality associated with it. This study aimed to examine the nutritional status of elderly NHS continuing care residents, assess the nutritional adequacy of the diet offered and consumed and examine the environment where they ate. The information collected suggests that similar anthropometric trends appear to exist between elderly groups in different geographical areas such as decreasing weight and body mass with age but, absolute values differ. This suggests that the reference data available may be inappropriate. The study group appeared leaner and more muscular than the reference. The prevalence of nutritional status varied from 11-24% depending on the criteria used. This prevalence appears high compared to free living elderly and either similar or lower than other elderly long-term care groups. The lack of a gold standard definition for undernutrition and appropriate reference percentiles has important implications for screening and identifying undernutrition. Energy consumed was inadequate compared to the EAR and ETEE, this may explain the prevalence of undernutrition and the inadequate nutrient content of the diet. Intakes may have been influenced by various social and environmental factors, which may have placed the group at nutritional risk. Conclusion The group seem at risk of undernutrition from lack of nutritional screening, inadequate diet and various environmental factors. The group was leaner but more muscular than community reference groups and the prevalence of undernutrition was higher than community free-living elderly. Further research is required on appropriate reference percentiles, criteria for identifying undernutrition and environmental risk factors. Recommendations Various recommendations were made to the Health Board and Trust Management Teams which required multi-disciplinary input and change in aspects of nutritional care. Recommendations included: redesigning menus making them more appropriate for the elderly (both nutritionally and culinary); implementation of nutritional screening; nutritional education of ward staff; vitamin D supplementation; environmental improvements; identifying, recording and taking account of residents' meal, snack and drink preferences. (Abstract shortened by ProQuest.).

Item Type: Thesis (MSc(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Additional Information: Adviser: J J Reilly
Keywords: Nutrition, Health care management, Gerontology, Aging
Date of Award: 1998
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1998-71349
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 10 May 2019 10:49
Last Modified: 10 May 2019 10:49
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/71349

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