Factors considered important to satisfaction with food in nursing homes

This study describes the response of nursing home residents to selected factors that relate to food service and, therefore, the nutrition of the elderly. Data were obtained from a questionnaire administered to 51 elderly residents of nursing homes in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. Over 95 percent of the respondents surveyed felt that the environment of the dining room, comfortable and compatible seating arrangements, and time to eat leisurely were necessities. Over 85 percent felt that provision of soft foods and special diets was important. A high percentage of respondents felt that the existence of a residents' food committee and the opportunity to make complaints and suggestions were very beneficial. The availability of nutritious snacks during the day was also considered important. The elderly residents desired more variety in their diets and responded that they would like more familiar fresh foods included in their daily menus.