Nutritional status, eating habits, and nutrition attitudes of older adults relocating into a personal care home
MetadataShow full item record
Relocation to a personal care home is a stressful experience and may occur at a traumatic moment in life. The effects of relocation to a PCH on nutritional status are unknown, yet under-nutrition is common among PCH residents. Objectives: To explore the effect of relocating to a PCH on the nutritional status, eating habits, and nutrition attitudes of adults aged 60 years and older. Methods: Fourteen Caucasian older adults (F = 57%) with a mean age of 83 years (SD = 9.79) consented to participate. Sixty-four percent of participants experienced inter-institutional relocation. Anthropometric, biochemical, clinical and dietary information was collected at Time Points A (2-3 months following relocation) and B (6-7 months following relocation) through face-to-face interviews, medical chart reviews and communications with nursing staff. Results: At Time B, cognitive function declined (z = -2.185, p < .05) and the number of medications prescribed increased (z = -2.00, p < .05). Levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D were insufficient among 83% of participants at both time points. Mean serum albumin was 34.4 ± 7.2 g/L at Time B and the prevalence of nutritional risk increased from 57% to 77%. Dietary intake was inadequate according to Canada’s Food Guide recommendations. Nutrition attitudes did not change. Implications & Conclusions: Six months following relocation, nutritional risk was more prevalent, with early evidence of possible protein-energy malnutrition. Nutritional inadequacies may result if dietary intakes do not improve. A collaborative approach is needed to assess environmental, psychosocial and nutritional factors that contribute to poor dietary intake and will assist in the development of an intervention program.