The project

Engage elderly people living in institution in eating situation.

Context. In France, 15 to 38% of elderly people living in nursing homes suffered from malnutrition compared with 4 to 10% of elderly people living at home. Without presuming any cause and effect relationship between dependence and malnutrition, it is clear that despite the resources deployed for the support of dependent elderly persons, the risk of malnutrition remains high in this population. In addition, several studies have shown that delegating all or part of one's diet creates a distance between the elderly people and his diet, which can contribute to appetite loss. As part of the AUPALESENS project, the sociologist Philippe Cardon observed that institutionalized people often perceive the kitchen as a "black-box".

Objective. ENGAGE will develop engaging strategies, namely interventions that allow institutionalized elderly people to stay involved in food activities, accommodating their expectations and preserved abilities. Two levels of intervention will be targeted:
- Interaction between the elderly and the meal – how to provide the elderly with choice in a meal situation;
- Interaction between the elderly and the kitchen – how to keep the elderly involved in food preparation.

Participatory research and field studies. Development of engaging strategies will use participatory research. Key stakeholders (elderly people, institution st aff, catering staff…) will be involved in the development of interventions to take into account the expectations and the capacities of the elderly as well as the socio-economic constraints of the institutions. Effectiveness of engaging strategies will be assessed and put in balance with applicability in the field. Evaluation of strategies will consist of experimental trials and consider improvement in appetite and food intake as benefits for the elderly, as well as strategies cost and feasibility in the field.

Key features. ENGAGE is support by the French "Investissements d'Avenir" program, project ISITE-BFC (contractANR-15-IDEX-0003). This 3-years project brought together 4 public research institutions, the Regional Health Agencies (ARS) and the CPIE Bresse du Jura, all in the Burgundy and Franche-Comté region. UBFC website