It's not only eating disordered teens (and sufferers of all ages!) who need supported nutrition. Elderly patients in nursing homes and residential centers also benefit from mealtime support.
For elderly patients, any sort of weight loss greatly contributes to morbidity and mortality, so maintaining proper weight and nutrition is extra important. But as people get older, the effort of eating and cooking increases immensely, taste buds decline, and a person can be physically capable of eating less. As well, ongoing health problems and certain medications decrease appetite, so it's ultra important that people have the support they need.
Individualized attention during daily meals and snacks in between minimizes weight loss among long-stay nursing home residents... The amount and quality of daily feeding assistance "can and does make a significant difference on the nutritional health status of a frail population," Dr. Sandra F. Simmons told Reuters Health.
And not only will this attention help nutritionally, it can also provide important social contact and bonding.