Individualized Nutrition Approaches for Older Adults: Long-Term Care, Post-Acute Care, and Other Settings

Volume 118, Issue 4, Pages 724-735 (April 2018)

Abstract

It is the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that the quality of life and nutritional status of older adults in long-term care, post-acute care, and other settings can be enhanced by individualized nutrition approaches. The Academy advocates that as part of the interprofessional team, registered dietitian nutritionists assess, evaluate, and recommend appropriate nutrition interventions according to each individual's medical condition, desires, and rights to make health care choices. Nutrition and dietetic technicians, registered assist registered dietitian nutritionists in the implementation of individualized nutrition care, including the use of least restrictive diets. Health care practitioners must assess risks vs benefits of therapeutic diets, especially for frail older adults. Food is an essential component of quality of life; an unpalatable or unacceptable diet can lead to poor food and fluid intake, resulting in malnutrition and related negative health effects. Including older individuals in decisions about food can increase the desire to eat and improve quality of life.