Home Delivered Meals II : older Adults Sensory Perceptions and Satisfaction from Assistant Nurses Perspective
Abstract: Introduction: Overall meal satisfaction and sensory properties of the food have been seen to impact the nutritional status in older adults living in residential care homes. However, there is a lack of studies focusing on home-dwelling older adults’ perceptions and satisfaction of home delivered meals. Objective: The purpose was to examine home-dwelling older adults’ sensory perceptions and satisfaction of home-delivered meals from the assistant nurses’ perspective. Method: The present study was the quantitative follow-up phase of a mixed method study with an exploratory sequential design. Data was collected through an online survey regarding assistant nurses’ (N=74) experiences of their care recipients satisfaction and perceptions of appearance, odor, flavor and texture of the meals. Result: The nurses reported that most care recipients appreciate the sensory properties of the meals. However, the perceptions of texture and flavor varied considerably as the texture of vegetables were perceived as either hard or soft, and the meat was perceived as either chewy or easy to chew. Moreover, the flavor of the meals were perceived as either tasty or tasteless. Sensory properties were important for the care recipients’ meal experience, and odor (OR= 6.15, p= 0,03,) and flavor (OR= 5.71, p= 0,05) were significant predictors for meal satisfaction. However, satisfaction could not be correlated to type of delivery system. Conclusion: Chewing difficulties and deteriorating smell and taste senses could be a reason for the great variation of the reported perceptions of texture and flavor. To increase older adults’ acceptability, more focus on choice of products and cooking techniques might be a way to improve the texture and flavor of the meals. Furthermore, due to selection bias the result cannot be generalized.
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