Abstract Ref: 

Niamh O’Shaughnessy1, Dorothy Loane2, Carola Diettrich3, Emer McTiernan4,
Emer Hyland4, Mairead Campbell5, Geraldine Kinnarney6, Trudie Rowan7, Mary Ferns8,
P. Phelan9, Paula Lee10, Michael Bryant11, Corina Glennon12, Caoileann Murphy1

1University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
2Community Nutrition & Dietetic Service, HSE CHO 8 (Midlands Area), Primary Care Centre,
Mountmellick, Laois, Ireland
3Community Nutrition & Dietetic Service, HSE CHO 8 (Midlands Area), St. Fintan’s Hospital,
Portlaoise, Laois, Ireland
4St. Joseph’s Care Centre, Dublin Road, Longford, Ireland
5Cluain Lir Care Centre, Mullingar, Westmeath, Ireland
6Riada House Care Centre, Tullamore, Offaly, Ireland
7Ofalia House Care Centre, Edenderry, Offaly, Ireland
8St. Brigid’s Care Centre, Shaen, Laois, Ireland
9St. Vincent’s Care Centre, Mountmellick, Laois, Ireland
10St. Vincent’s Care Centre, Mountmellick, Westmeath, Ireland
11Community Nursing Unit, Birr, Offaly, Ireland
12Community Nutrition & Dietetic Service, HSE CHO 8 (Midlands Area), Primary Care Unit,
St. Loman’s Hospital, Mullingar, Westmeath, Ireland

Background: Anecdotal evidence from HSE Residential Care Sites for Older Persons
(RCS) in CHO 8 (Midlands Area) has raised concerns that overweight and obesity prevalence
is rising amongst residents. This study aimed to qualitatively investigate the change
in residents’ diet and lifestyle patterns from pre to post admission to this setting.
Methods: Semi structured interviews were carried out in 8 RCS with staff and overweight/
obese residents. Staff and residents were asked about the residents’ current eating,
lifestyle and physical activity practices and residents were also asked how these compared
to prior to admission. Interviews were audio recorded and transcripts were developed
permitting theme generation.

Results: Thirteen residents and 7 staff, chosen at random across the 8 RCS, were included
in this study. Five significant themes related to the residents’ eating and lifestyle patterns
pre admission and currently were identified from the interviews with the residents: historical
influences on diet and lifestyle choices, the importance of daily routine, psychological
factors, health related factors and social engagement. The physical and social environment
played an important role in current dietary choice and active behavior. The increased availability
of food emerged as a substantial change to the residents’ dietary pattern. Poor participation
in leisure time physical activity prior to admission and the residents’ desire to
continue previous habits emerged as barriers to active behavior. Four additional themes
emerged from discussions with RCS staff: the fear of weight loss, the effects of visitors
bringing in food, accessibility of food via meal structures and staff training.

Conclusion: There are changes in diet and lifestyle patterns in overweight/obese residents
from pre to post admission to RCS in CHO 8 (Midlands Area). These changes
should be considered when reviewing current nutrition and hydration policies in this care