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Enhancing Nutrition and Eating Skills in Long-Term Care

ROBERTS, SHARON RN, BSN, NHA, MA; DURNBAUGH, TANA EDD, RN, CS

FEATURE TOPIC: Eating and Nutrition
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Age-associated impairments, internal and external stressors, and various elements of the food served in long-term care compromise nutrition. Persons in the mid-stage of Alzheimer's disease demonstrate mealtime behaviors that further interfere with self-feeding. The current study asked expert clinical nurses to identify interventions for 33 common mealtime behaviors. These nurses also identified structural changes needed in the dining room that are important for quality care. This assessment and intervention research served as the basis for the educational program and video “Dealing with Problem Mealtime Behaviors.” Staff trained in two nursing homes demonstrated a mean score gain on pretest and posttest scores as a result of the training.

Sharon Roberts, RN, BSN, NHA, MA, is a Gerontologist with the Lake County Health Department and Community Health Center in Waukegan, Illinois.

Tana Durnbaugh, EdD, RN, CS, is a Professor in the Nursing Department at the College of Lake County in Grayslake, Illinois.

© 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.