Unmet Need for Nutrition-Related Services in Recently Hospital-Discharged Older Adults

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Vaudin, Anna Margaret
Sahyoun, Nadine R
Older adults returning home from the hospital may have disabilities that prevent them from obtaining or preparing adequate nutritious food. Additionally, they may have difficulty identifying their need for or accessing services that could provide support. We aimed to identify the level of unmet need for services that may affect nutritional health in community-dwelling older adults. We also compared the prevalence of perceived need for services with objectively assessed need. We explored the need for home health care, transportation, mental health, oral health, vision, grocery delivery, and physical therapy services in 566 community-dwelling, recently hospital-discharged older adults. Almost half (45.6%) of the sample reported unmet need for at least one service. For each service, there was discrepancy between perceived need and assessed need. By improving the screening of hospital-discharged older adults' needs for nutrition-related services, the healthcare community can improve targeting of services to those with the most nutritional risk.