Older Adults' and Their Informal Caregivers' Experiences and Needs regarding Nutritional Care Provided in the Periods before, during and after Hospitalization: A Qualitative Study
To enhance prevention and treatment of malnutrition in older adults before, during and after hospitalization, deeper understanding of older adults’ and informal caregivers’ perspective on nutritional care is important. One-time in-depth interviews were conducted with 15 older adults who had been discharged from hospital, and seven informal caregivers. We explored their experiences and needs regarding nutritional care provided in the periods before, during and after hospitalization. Five themes emerged from the data: (1) dietary intake, (2) food service during hospitalization, (3) nutrition-related activities, (4) whose job it is to give nutritional care, and (5) competing care priorities. Further, several opinions about nutritional issues were identified. Older adults and informal caregivers did not always experience optimal nutritional care. When discussing nutritional care, they mainly focused on the in-hospital period. When providing nutritional care and developing guidelines, older adults’ and informal caregivers’ perspective on nutritional care should be incorporated. Here, the periods before, during and after hospitalization should be taken into account equally.
|Published in||Journal of Nutrition in Gerontology and Geriatrics|
|Year and volume||40 2-3|
|Key words||older adults, informal caregivers, malnutrition, nutritional care, qualitative research, hospitalization, thematic analysis|