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The Occupational Therapy Approach to Addressing Food Insecurity among Older Adults with Chronic Disease

Occupational Therapy Division, 453 West 10th Ave, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
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Geriatrics 2019, 4(1), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/geriatrics4010022
Received: 30 December 2018 / Revised: 8 February 2019 / Accepted: 14 February 2019 / Published: 15 February 2019
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PDF [215 KB, uploaded 15 February 2019]

Abstract

The older adult population is one of the fastest growing age groups in the United States. Various components influence productive aging, and current research has identified nutrition and healthy eating as key factors that impact older adults’ overall health status. While consumption of nutritious meals can help minimize the risk of health decline, the growing rate of food insecurity inhibits older adults’ abilities to access healthy food regularly. Additionally, the high prevalence of chronic disease and disability in older adults can also limit independent participation in food-related activities, such as shopping, self-feeding, and meal preparation. A lack of food access and difficulties engaging in food-related activities place older adults with chronic disease at an increased risk of malnutrition, disability, and losing independence, thereby threatening social participation, healthy aging, and quality of life. Due to their expertise in promoting health and independent living, occupational therapy practitioners may be uniquely positioned to enhance older adults’ healthy eating behaviors through the use of client-centered interventions tailored to food-related activities. This position paper reviews the scope of the occupational therapy profession, the consequences of food insecurity among older adults with chronic conditions, and strategies to enhance food-related activity participation in later life. View Full-Text
Keywords: food insecurity; occupational therapy; food-related activities; malnutrition food insecurity; occupational therapy; food-related activities; malnutrition
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Juckett, L.A.; Robinson, M.L. The Occupational Therapy Approach to Addressing Food Insecurity among Older Adults with Chronic Disease. Geriatrics 2019, 4, 22.

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