Author(s): Labossiere R, Bernard MA
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Abstract PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The aim of this article is to emphasize the importance of malnutrition in frail institutionalized elderly and discuss recent interventions that have been shown to decrease its prevalence. RECENT FINDINGS: A Medline search was conducted from 1968 to 2007 under the search terms aging, nutrition, and nursing homes. The most current reviews relevant to the care of institutionalized elders were selected for inclusion in this report. Recent reports have shown that application of screening protocols in long-tem care institutions improved nutritional status. A complete physical assessment, with special attention to the oral cavity, should be conducted. Monitoring of weight and intake should be part of the institutional routine, recognizing that there may be differences between prescribed diet and actual intake. Nutritional interventions should be tried as early as possible, including enhancement of environment and increasing staff to assist with feeding, as malnutrition in this population is associated with falls (particularly with deficient vitamin D) and increased morbidity and mortality. To optimally facilitate nutritional care of nursing home patients reforms are needed to facilitate optimal staffing in the institutional setting. SUMMARY: It is important to educate healthcare workers in the nursing home about simple interventions that could improve nutritional status.
This article was published in Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care
and referenced in Journal of Gerontology & Geriatric Research