The contribution of a community food group to older people’s nutritional and social well-being : An assets model
Poor nutrition in older people poses significant health problems for many community dwelling older people and is affected by cultural, psychological and social factors, including living alone and social isolation. Meals are provided to older people in community settings by both statutory, voluntary and faith organisations, however, the contribution these services provide to older people both in terms of nutritional and social support is poorly understood in the UK. This pilot study has explored in depth, one faith-based setting providing twice-weekly lunches to members of the community. Methods include participant and non-participant observation (4 Months), food diaries (7 day), one-to-one and group semi structured interviews, and researcher and participant generated visual images (using digital cameras). Qualitative interview and fieldnote data have been thematically analysed (Using NVivo 7TM), and found that eating in a community setting plays an important role in providing space for social interaction and support. Perceived nutritional benefits include the provision of a ‘proper’, ‘home-cooked’ meal. Quantitative analysis of the food diary data (Using DietplanTM) has explored the nutritional contribution the food eaten at the lunch group provided during the study week. This poster will discuss how we have used an assets-based model as a theoretical framework to enable us to explore and expose how the resources and contribution of a community lunch group enhances both the nutritional health and social well-being of older people.