Promoting Nutrition in Older Adults

NURS 3020 Health Assessment

Week 4 Discussion

Promoting Nutrition in Older Adults

Older adults are the fastest growing age group in North America. This demographic is expected to continue for the next several decades and has demanded increased attention to promoting and supporting their health and well-being.

Nurses must be adept in nutrition assessment and education and guiding older adults in their self-management and care activities. Each nurse needs to understand valid information sources as they relate to patient’s health literacy skills.

Patients over the age of 65 are at an increased risk for lower levels of health literacy. Health literacy is believed to be a stronger predictor of health outcomes than are social and economic status, education, gender, and age.

A nurse must know how to overcome multiple barriers when caring for a patient with low health literacy. Mistrust is one barrier. When the nurse is different from the patient in terms of age, ethnicity, education, and socio-economic status, the patient may have difficulty asking questions or be reluctant to disclose personal information.

To Prepare

Review the Week 4 Discussion Rubric provided in the Course Information area.

Review Chapters 11 and 21 in your course text.

Review the Writing Resources and Program Success Tools.

Review this week’s Writing Resources and Program Success Tools.

Using the Nursing Databases in the Library, seek out a professional article that was published within the past 5 years pertaining to one of the three Discussion options below. Some topics to look for might include:

Nutrition and age groups

Abdominal differences

Reaching a higher level of care

Health promotion and patient centered care


Population health

From the article, pick out three important key points or “take-a-ways.” Be sure to cite and reference the professional article selected along with other sources of evidence.

By Day 3

Post a substantive response (at least 350 words) to one of the following options. Be sure to use evidence from the readings and include in-text citations. Utilize essay-level writing practice and skills, including the use of transitional material and organizational frames. Use the writing resources and the Discussion Rubric to develop your post.


In-text citations


Transitional material

Organizational frames

Option One:

In the text, you read about the various types of nutritional assessments that can be utilized during the health history and assessment process. From a professional article you selected, describe one effective nutritional assessment that can be used specifically for an older individual in outpatient care clinics, hospitals, or long-term facilities.

Option Two:

As older adults live longer, they may have more than one chronic disease. Or, they may have a health problem that can lead to another condition or injury if not properly managed. The older adult requires careful nutritional management to ensure proper care and improve or maintain quality of life. From the professional article you selected, describe the unique nutritional needs of this population.

Option Three:

With the rapid population increase of older adults and the surge in online health information, efforts targeted at older adults and their health literacy are both relevant and crucial to promoting and supporting overall health. From the professional article you selected, describe effective nurse strategies aimed to improving the health literacy of this population.

Use the Writing Center to help you cite correctly:

Use the Nursing Research Databases in the Library to search for professional articles:

Learn how to evaluate resources in the Library:

By Day 7

Read two or more of your colleagues’ postings for the Discussion question.

Respond to at least two of your colleagues in one of the following ways:

Expand upon their Discussion.

Suggest an alternative to their viewpoint.

Ask a clarifying question about a colleague’s proposed technique or strategy.

Return to this Discussion in a few days to read the responses to your initial posting. Note what you have learned and/or any insights you have gained as a result of the comments your colleagues made.

Provide a Discussion entry on three different days of the week. See the Discussion Rubric for more information.

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