The open webinar arranged by the NKJ network Bridge Builders for researchers and professionals working in elderly care.
Text: Sari Ranta
After having arranged two workshops and participating the ICCAS conference in Lyon, the Bridge Builders network organized an open webinar on the 14th of June 2022. It was for researchers, teachers and health and social care professionals working in elderly care. Due to the covid restrictions a webinar proved to be a workable solution.
The first part of the webinar consisted of Danish Breakfast Club studies (2018-2022) presented by Lise Justesen (University College Copenhagen), followed by a Swedish Creating caring places study presented by Anna Sandgren (Linnaeus University). Both of these studies took place in a nursing home context.
Three phases in the study
The Breakfast Club study, Hospitable meal practices as rehabilitation strategies in nursing homes, consists of three phases. The first part (2018) included an ethnographic study and baseline measurements after which during the second part (2019) focus was on residents’ food related functionality, quality of life and principals for their involvement in food related activities. During the third part (2021) dynamic hospitality was implemented as everyday meal practices.
Malnourishment in nursing homes
The Swedish study, Creating caring spaces – development of mealtime interventions in nursing homes, points out that 50% of the residents in nursing homes are malnourished, 90% of people with dementia develop at some time behavioral and psychological symptoms and the mealtime is a key social focal point and occupies a large proportion of activity during a day. In this study Five Aspect Meal Model (FAMM) was used. This model is originally a tool for developing meal services in restaurants. The Room, the Meeting and Product together form the Atmosphere. The management control system serves as a tool for control and logistics. The aim was to develop interventions that target and expand caring qualities of mealtime environments for people living with dementia and besides this to optimize mealtime environments in nursing homes in a way that support health, QoL and well-being of the residents.
The second session of the webinar started with a presentation named Development of healthy food -Healthy and sustainable foods for elderly by Cornelia Witthöft and Mohammed Hefni (Linnaeus University) from Sweden. Food science is widely presented at the university of Linnaeus where research activities cover food chemistry and food composition, functional plant foods for a healthy diet, nutrition policies and sustainability, nutrition and bioavailability and food processing for functional ingredients. Special attention has been focused on the role of legumes in promoting health. Development of ingredients for new legume food, especially those that are folate-enhanced, has been emphasized. Also studies of bread with low GI, clinical intervention studies to enhance gut health and assessment of metabolic effects and identification of dietary biomarkers of legume intake using metabolomics and microbiomics have been carried out. One central aim has been to find sustainable ways to reduce the consumption of meat. To meet current and future societal changes we need interdisciplinary knowledge environments to gather prominent research, education, and collaboration.
The last presentation was by Kai-Victor Myrnes-Hansen (University of Stavanger, Norway) whose topic was Elderly and meal knowledge. He covered the impact of color of porcelain, how presentation can increase appetite, and knowledge of food can promote healthy life. Fridge stories vividly illustrated, how just one look into the fridge can reveal the state of the eating and meals of an elderly person living at home. The presentation covered the relations of good food, good health and good economy and rose the question what´s next. We need to figure out how we can join forces, increase cross-sectional research, develop education and the care to the best for the elderly and find out what it is, what they want.
Presentations rose questions and vivid conversation. Topics varied from theory and models to settings and methods, even to new ways of pizza baking. It seems that the network needs people outside universities, people who can put the scientific findings into action in the so-called real life. We are missing and inviting practitioners, such as nurses and social workers as well as service entrepreneurs and producers to join the network. Based on what was heard and learned it is interesting to head towards planning future actions in the fall.
Bridge builders – Building sustainable nutritional bridges between research and health and wellbeing services for elderly
• Bridge Builders consists of expertise in food and nutrition research (healthy food, alternative proteins, mealtime interventions, aging) as well as in service applications and good practices (dietary habits and environments, training of social and health professionals). Participants represent Denmark (University College Copenhagen), Finland (South-Eastern University of Applied Sciences), Norway (University of Stavanger) and Sweden (Linnaeus University).