Home food environment of older adults transitioning from hospital to home.
Additional Document Info
Only anecdotal information is known about foods available in the home of hospital-discharged older adults. This study describes the home food environment of this population and examines associations between health/nutrition risk factors and ability to shop and prepare meals. Data were collected from 512 hospital-discharged older adults residing in 6 U.S. states; food available within the home was assessed. Most households had a variety of food present; however, 20% of households lacked fresh fruit, 15% lacked fresh vegetables, and 35% had no fresh meat. About 35% of participants reported an inability to both prepare meals and shop for food. Among those unable to do both activities, the prevalence of depressive symptoms, food-related anxiety, and poor self-rated health was significantly (p < 0.01) higher than those able to do both activities. Homebound older adults may face additional challenges to recuperation from illness based on inability to prepare meals, regardless of availability of food following hospital discharge.