Balancing Residents’ Dietary Preferences, Nutritional Needs, and Aspiration and Other Risks

September 11, 2015 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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​Aging services providers have an obligation to respect residents' informed decisions regarding dietary preferences, even if those residents reject recommendations to reduce risk by avoiding certain types of diets, according to an article in the September 2015 Caring for the Ages. The article includes examples of residents who requested to continue dining on pureed food or small amounts of solid food despite the risks of aspiration or other adverse outcomes; in some cases, their requests were not respected or they were not fully informed of their options, and the organizations were cited by surveyors. Developing an appropriate diet should begin on admission to the nursing home, the author writes, and includes discussions with the resident about food preferences, allergies, intolerances, dining location preferences, and snacking or mealtime preferences.

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