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Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2017 Jun 23;72:169-173. doi: 10.1016/j.archger.2017.06.008. [Epub ahead of print]

Changes in malnutrition and quality of nutritional care among aged residents in all nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Helsinki 2003-2011.

Author information

1
City of Helsinki, Department of Social Services and Health Care, Oral Health Care, Finland; General Practice and Primary Health Care, University of Helsinki, Finland. Electronic address: riitta.saarela@hel.fi.
2
General Practice and Primary Health Care, University of Helsinki, Finland.
3
General Practice and Primary Health Care, University of Helsinki, Finland; City of Helsinki, Department of Social Services and Health Care, Developmental and Operational Support, Finland.
4
General Practice and Primary Health Care, University of Helsinki, Finland; Helsinki University Hospital, Finland.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

While nutritional problems have been recognized as common in institutional settings for several decades, less is known about how nutritional care and nutrition has changed in these settings over time.

OBJECTIVES:

To describe and compare the nutritional problems and nutritional care of residents in all nursing homes (NH) in 2003 and 2011 and residents in all assisted living facilities (ALF) in 2007 and 2011, in Helsinki, Finland.

METHODS:

We combined four cross-sectional datasets of (1) residents from all NHs in 2003 (N=1987), (2) residents from all ALFs in 2007 (N=1377), (3) residents from all NHs in 2011 (N=1576) and (4) residents from all ALFs in 2011 (N=1585). All participants at each time point were assessed using identical methods, including the Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA).

RESULTS:

The mean age of both samples from 2011 was higher and a larger proportion suffered from dementia, compared to earlier collected samples. A larger proportion of the residents in 2011 were assessed either malnourished or at-risk for malnutrition, according to the MNA, than in 2003 (NH: 93.5% vs. 88.9%, p<0.001) and in 2007 (ALF: 82.1% vs. 78.1%, p=0.007). The use of nutritional, vitamin D and calcium supplements, and snacks between meals was significantly more common in the 2011 residents, compared to the respective earlier samples.

CONCLUSIONS:

In 2011, institutionalized residents were more disabled and more prone to malnourishment than in 2003 or 2007. Institutions do seem to be more aware of good nutritional care for vulnerable older people, although there is still room for improvement.

KEYWORDS:

Aged; Assisted living facilities; MNA; Nursing home; Nutrition

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