Faculty Publications and Other Works -- Nursing


Views of Community-Dwelling, Old-Old People on Barriers and Aids to Nutritional Health

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Purpose: To examine barriers and aids to maintaining the nutritional health of community-dwelling old-old residents from their perspectives.

Design: Cross-sectional exploratory study completed in March 2002 of old-old people living independently in one county in the Midwestern United States (US).

Methods: Sixty-eight in-home interviews were conducted with community-dwelling people aged 80 or older. Content analysis was done to examine answers to two open-ended questions about barriers and helps to nutritional health.

Findings: These old-old people believed they were doing well nutritionally despite reduced independence and physical limitations. They were positive about their lives and creative in problem solving to remain independent. Social connectedness was the major factor for maintaining independence into old age. The leading barrier to maintaining nutritional health was health problems. Those with more barriers were more likely to be depressed.

Conclusions: Knowledge of aids and barriers to nutritional health, from a personal perspective, gives an understanding of the issues and concerns of old-old people.

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