McKnights Long Term Care had a great article on a study that proves the importance and necessity of one-on-one supervision, exercise, and encouragement when feeding residents in a nursing home.  Because of prevalent understaffing in the nursing home industry, most nursing homes do not or cannnot provide enough staff to make sure that the residents are eating enough nutritious foods.

Supervision and encouragement during meals has been proven to reduce the occurrence of unintentional weight loss among long-stay nursing home residents according to the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.  Vanderbilt University researchers assessed the unintentional weight loss of 76 nursing home residents.

Half of the group received additional attention during mealtime while the other half served as a control group.  Researchers noticed that 52% of residents maintained their weight when they were part of the extra attention group. That compares with 28% of residents in the control group.  Researchers suggest that groups of three or four residents per staff member during mealtimes are more practical and just as effective as one-on-one care.

The new study found that the combination of light exercise and specific nutritional supplements could help keep seniors fit for a longer period of time.   Researchers at Manchester Metropolitan University in England divided 60 seniors into two groups. One group performed moderate exercise once a week and the other performed high resistance exercise twice a week. Within those two groups, some received carbohydrate and protein supplements before and after exercise; some did not.   While all groups showed improved muscle mass and overall strength at the end of the 12-week trial, the most striking results came from the light exercise group that received supplements, according to the study.

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