Tips on promoting food and fluid intake in the elderly.
ABSTRACT Nurses have a crucial role in ensuring adequate food and fluid intake in the elderly. Nurses can improve the nutritional intake of their elderly patients by obtaining proper nutritional assessments, addressing risk factors for malnutrition and fluid deficit, providing enough staff and volunteers to help feed impaired patients, honoring each older person's meal pattern, scheduling drug regimens that do not interfere with food and fluid intake, not scheduling food-related activities and visits too near mealtime, serving food that is palatable and attractively served, ensuring adequate fluid intake, and being creative in finding ways to keep the restless, wandering patient well-nourished and hydrated. Monitoring food and fluid intake requires precise recording of what foods and fluids the older person is ingesting, keeping accurate intake and output records, determining periodic weights, informing the physician of patients' weight loss in a timely manner, and instituting corrective measures at once.
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ABSTRACT: Introduction: Constipation presents as a perpetual problem in health-care with painful and debilitating consequences, however it is frequently preventable. A prerequisite to prevention is assessment of risk of a condition occurring so that interventions can be individualised in an attempt to prevent it. On analysis of published literature no objective comprehensive risk assessment tools for constipation were found.Study purpose: The purpose of this literature review was to identify and analyse risk factors for constipation recognised by previous empirical research. This enabled subsequent work to be performed to develop a risk assessment tool for constipation that could be used in clinical practice.Literature review: The literature search identified potential risk factors for constipation. These risk factors were systematically analysed and justification was provided for the risk factors' inclusion to or exclusion from the risk assessment instrument that was subsequently developed.Conclusion: The study appears to be the first within health-related literature that has extracted the risk factors for constipation from previous empirical research. This groundwork led the way for the subsequent development of a comprehensive objective tool to assess risk for constipation.Clinical Effectiveness in Nursing 03/2004; 8(4):192-207. DOI:10.1016/j.joon.2004.05.005
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ABSTRACT: Older adults are more susceptible to water imbalance and ensuring they drink sufficiently is a complex and challenging issue for nurses. The factors that promote adequate hydration and the barriers which prevent older people from drinking are not well understood. This study aimed to understand the complexity of issues associated with the hydration and hydration care of older people. A qualitative study using multiple methods. Two healthcare sites providing care for older people in the South West of England: a hospital ward in a major hospital and a care home providing personal and nursing care. Twenty-one older people aged 68-96 years, were recruited to the study from the hospital ward and care home. The inclusion criteria for older people to participate were men or women aged 65 years and over and the exclusion criteria were being unable to provide informed consent, or being too ill or distressed to take part in the study. The staff participants of nurses and health care assistants totalled 21. The inclusion criterion for staff was any nurse or health care assistant providing hydration care. Seven friends or relatives participated by making anonymous comments via a suggestion box available to all friends and relatives. Data were collected via interviews with older people, focus group discussions involving staff, suggestion box comments made by friends and relatives and twelve hours observation of hydration practice. The data were analysed using thematic analysis. Health professionals successfully employed several strategies to promote drinking including verbal prompting, offering choice, placing drinks in older people's hands and assisting with drinking. Older people revealed their experience of drinking was diminished by a variety of factors including a limited aesthetic experience and a focus on fluid consumption rather than on drinking as a pleasurable and social experience. The rich and varied dimensions usually associated with drinking were lacking and the role of drinking beverages to promote social interaction was underplayed in both settings. Hydration practice which supports the individual needs of older people is complex and goes beyond simply ensuring the consumption of adequate fluids.International journal of nursing studies 05/2012; 49(10):1200-11. DOI:10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2012.04.009 · 1.91 Impact Factor