Perceptions and Attitudes about Eating with the Fingers-An Explorative Study among Older Adults with Motoric Eating Difficulties, Relatives and Professional Caregivers

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2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Difficulties of managing cutlery, manipulating food on the plate and transporting food to the mouth may negatively influence the ability for self-provision and nutritional status among older adults with motoric eating difficulties. The purpose was to explore perceptions and attitudes about eating with the fingers among older adults with motoric eating difficulties, and relatives and professional caregivers of older adults with motoric eating difficulties. Qualitative data was collected through individual interviews with older adults >65 years ( N  = 14) with motoric eating difficulties and focus groups with relatives ( N  = 15) and professional caregivers ( N  = 15). Data was analyzed using deductive and inductive content analysis. Although the older adults had normative ideas about proper eating and culinary rules, they regularly consumed several foods with their fingers without previously reflecting upon this. Using bread to grip or wrap foods and inserting skewers into foods may increase the acceptability of eating with the fingers. However, the importance of the disease causing the eating difficulties, how it was perceived, and its severity were crucial in understanding how eating with the fingers was perceived. Finger foods may be suitable for older adults with major eating difficulties because they have developed a self-acceptance in relation to their condition over time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-91
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Nutrition in Gerontology and Geriatrics
Volume41
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022-Jan-18

Keywords

  • Eating with fingers
  • motoric eating difficulties
  • older adults
  • perceptions and attitudes
  • professional caregivers
  • relatives

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