Food for elderly arises vivid debate

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).

 

More information
sari.ranta(at)xamk.fi

 

 

 

NKJ network gets proposal accepted

The NKJ researcher network Bridge Builders has arranged their second workshop in Stavanger with good results and very happy participants.

 

The main goal for the workshop was to plan and co-write an abstract/presentation proposal for ICCAS 2022, (International Conference on Culinary Arts and Sciences 2022; Sustainable meal systems worldwide: Challenges for Culinary Arts and Sciences). The proposal was accepted in December 2021!

During our workshop we also had a chance to meet Stavanger’s PhD candidates, one of whom gave us an inspiring presentation of her research among the elderly. Discussions about future actions within education development were vivid as well as discussions about joint research and funding possibilities for continuing the network activities. Collaboration procedures, network theories and various approaches deserve further attention as well as strengthening the ways of sharing currently available materials.

The workshop offered us a stage to meet each other in person, an opportunity to get to know each other and our different ways of working, and to write together.  The workshop was described being mind opening, it strengthened the network, helped clarify our purpose and revealed a need of future discussions and preparations. Our meeting and days at Stavanger were filled with warm Norwegian spirit and overflowing hospitality.

At the coming conference, our network’s aim is to present the activities of the Bridge Builders network in order to discuss how a multidisciplinary approach can contribute with new knowledge to promote sustainable healthy aging in relation to food, nutrition, health and well-being services. We would furthermore like to invite researchers and practitioners who participate in the congress to join the network.

This spring we will continue our monthly online meetings and presentations of ongoing and future research areas related to healthy eating and aging from a holistic perspective. Also Erasmus+ exchange between several partners will go on as well as the preparation of articles and conference contributions.

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).