2017 Volume 12 Pages 1-7
This study examined the nutritional status and mental/physical functions of care-dependent individuals living in residential homes for the elderly, focusing on malnutrition as a leading cause of the progression of care dependency, to clarify the associations among them. A status survey was conducted, involving 147 care-dependent individuals living in 3 residential homes with care services for the elderly in Tokyo and Kanagawa. When focusing on physical functions, the Alb level was higher among residents exhibiting higher total ADL20 scores; based on this, approaches to prevent decreases in the nutritional status may be essential for the maintenance of ADL independence. This tendency was particularly marked when examining scores from the following ADL20 subscales: <indoor walking>, <ascending/descending stairs>, and <outdoor walking>, as the Alb level was higher among those who were able to perform these activities more independently. Regarding cognitive functions, the Alb level was lower when the total CDR score and scores from the following subscales indicated higher severity: <memory>, <orientation>, <judgment>, <social adaptation>, <family situation>, and <care situation>. This highlights the necessity of continuous nutritional management as a preventive measure against dementia. This study is suggesting the necessity of performing nutritional management, such as maintaining and restoring a favorable nutritional status in residential homes for the elderly lead a healthy and mentally and physically independent life.