Elderly People from Old Age Homes have Higher Risk of Malnutrition and Depression as Compared to Family Setup
Keywords:Malnutrition, Physical Activity Ratio, Osteoporosis, Anemia, Depression, Mini Nutritional Assessment.
AbstractWith increase in average age of population and increasing trend of nuclear families, old age homes are fast becoming a norm in India. The COVID-19 pandemic has made nutritionists revisit the health status of our elderly living in different family set ups. The present study was carried out with the objective to compare the health and risk of malnutrition among elderly (? 60 yrs in age) living in three different residential set ups i.e. old age homes, urban family or rural family. The study was carried out in Hisar district of Haryana state in Northern India. In this cross-sectional study, sixty subjects each (N=180) from the three residential set ups were selected randomly and assessed for depression, level of independence in daily activities and risk for malnutrition. Standard scales viz. Geriatric Depression Scale, Barthel Index and Mini Nutritional Assessment Scale were used. The PAR (Physical Activity Ratio) values for activities performed in a day were aggregated over the period i.e. 24 hours to yield physical activity level. It was observed that respondents from rural family set up were more active as compared to their counterparts in urban family set up or old age homes. Osteoporosis (94.44%), joint pain (87.78%), loss of appetite (85.56%) and anemia (80.56%) were the most commonly reported problems. Per cent prevalence of most problems was higher in old age home respondents. The level of independence for most activities was lowest in old age home respondents as compared to other two residential set ups. Depression was evident in 36.67 per cent of total respondents with higher per cent prevalence in residents of old age home. It may be concluded that elderly people from old age homes have higher risk of malnutrition and depression as compared to urban or rural family setup. Interventions are highly recommended for mental and nutritional well-being of elderly specially those living in old age homes. Considering the increasing trend of old age homes, deeper studies are required on their living conditions. There should be stringent SOP’s for all old age homes and elderly care.
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