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Culturally inclusive meal-planning in long-term care
The older adult population in Canada is growing faster and becoming more diverse than previous generations. Immigration is the driving force behind this change as earlier immigrant cohorts are aging. As such, there is an increasing need to ensure that services and supports provided in long-term care communities – including meals – are meeting the needs of this population. Food consumed by individuals is associated with their cultural/ethnic identity, taste, smell, and familiarity with foods. If menu items provided in long-term care communities do not meet individual preferences, especially cultural, it can negatively impact the food/ fluid intake and quality of life of diverse older adults.
Dieticians and nutrition managers in LTC often face challenges when menu planning, especially when there are different cultural groups represented within a home. Currently, there is limited information on the specific challenges from the perspectives of dietitians and nutrition managers.
The focus of this study is to determine the barriers and facilitators to developing culturally inclusive menus as well as the gaps in competence, training needs, and preferences of long-term care home nutrition managers and registered dietitians in developing culturally inclusive menus. The information collected from this study will aid in identifying best practices and create resources for developing menus in LTC homes to incorporate culturally appropriate meals and will address gaps in menu planning for culturally diverse residents.
- Safura Sye, University of Waterloo
Funding provided by the MITACS Accelerate Program
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