Nutritional Issues for Older People and Older People with Dementia in Institutional Environments

  • Angela B. Kydd


The purposes of meals cover physiological needs and social interactions. Mealtimes can be a forum for communication within a family or social unit and food can be seen as a gift; a form of invitation to join in to share the prepared offerings of a host. The manner and way in which food is presented can enhance nutritional status, yet when food is used purely to meet physiological needs, the social meaning of meals become devalued and ultimately a less enjoyable experience. Once a ‘meal’ becomes a routine task and not sociable, the individual may lose their appetite for both the sense of occasion and for the food. Standards on good nutritional care cover the physical and psychosocial aspects of care. Recommendations come from international sources, European sources, British sources and from the four countries of the UK. Age Concern and Alzheimer Scotland have also addressed the issues. Yet the problem of malnutrition in institutional settings persists. Frail older people and older people with dementia are those most likely to be in institutions and those most likely to have a poor nutritional status. This chapter looks at the standards available and the issues involved. It goes on to highlight evidence that shows that those who are dealing directly with providing nutritional care are often care assistants who have little or no knowledge of evidence-based practice on maintaining and improving an individual’s nutritional status.


Poor Nutrition Nutritional Care Older People Care Assistant Frontline Staff 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



British Association for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition


European Nutrition for Health Alliance


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Health Nursing and MidwiferyUniversity of the West of ScotlandHamiltonUK

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