Recently Hospital-Discharged Older Adults Are Vulnerable and May Be Underserved by the Older Americans Act Nutrition Program
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The home-delivered meal (HDM) program of the Older Americans Act Nutrition Program (OAANP) has traditionally served frail homebound older adults; however, due to gaps in the continuum of care, enrollment in this program following hospital discharge remains a challenge. Trained interviewers at 6 HDM sites in 6 U.S. states assigned 566 hospital-discharged individuals, ages 60-96 years, into either early (48 hour) or delayed (2 weeks) enrollment groups and assessed their health and nutrition status. Regardless of elapsed time at enrollment, more than 80% reported at least one limitation in activities and instrumental activities of daily living. About 20% had impaired cognition and more than 40% had depressive symptoms. Also, 40% reported fair or poor appetite. Despite intense recruitment from hospitals, only 30% of participants were referred from hospitals. The recently hospital-discharged older adult population may include a higher prevalence of individuals with poor functional status and at nutritional risk than participants in the OAANP HDM program and yet may be underserved by this program.
author list (cited authors)
Sahyoun, N. R., Anyanwu, U. O., Sharkey, J. R., & Netterville, L.