Elderly Persons Aged 80 Years and Older and Their Nutritional Status


A challenge for health care providers is that there will be a distinct rise globally in the number of elderly people aged 80 years and over. Malnutrition is a well-known problem among elderly people; few studies have focused on the nutritional status of those aged over 80, irrespective of whether they live in nursing homes (NHs) or in ordinary housing. The aim of the study was to examine the nutritional status of elderly people aged 80 or older. The study was cross-sectional with 64 elderly persons (80 - 100 years old) living in NHs (n = 35) or in ordinary housing (n = 29). Their nutritional status was assessed with the Mini Nutritional Assessment. Among the elderly people living in NHs, half were at risk and one fourth were suffering from malnutrition. Ten percent of the elderly persons in ordinary housing were found to be at risk; none were malnourished. Thirty-one percent had BMI values <23. The majority of the participants ate 2 - 3 meals per day and were prescribed more than three medications daily. Although not statistically significant, well-nourished participants were more likely to be married, and to rate their psychological and physical health very good/good compared to participants who were at risk of becoming malnourished or were malnourished. In conclusion, the results indicate that special attention regarding nutritional intake is required for those aged 80 years and older irrespective of type of accommodation. The RNs have a responsibility to identify the problems and needs and to implement and evaluate nutritional care in this age group. There is a further need for knowledge regarding the effects of both nutritional interventions and of their optimum timing.

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Persenius, M. , Glawing, G. , Hermansson, H. and Karlsson, I. (2014) Elderly Persons Aged 80 Years and Older and Their Nutritional Status. Open Journal of Nursing, 4, 356-365. doi: 10.4236/ojn.2014.45041.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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