By 2030, one-quarter of the U.S. Hispanic population will be aged 80 or over. At least 4.5 million of them will require long-term care, most probably in nursing homes. Although Hispanic families traditionally care for elders at home despite their declining cognitive and physical function, family ability to provide such care is eroding due to acculturation, increasing the likelihood of nursing home admission. A synthesis of two studies (findings from a focus group and a Hispanic data subset from a federally funded grant) found that Hispanic nursing home resident food intake could be improved by traditional entrées, appealing presentations, and flour tortillas from a supplier recommended by Mexican American families. There were no statistically significant differences between Anglo and Hispanic residents on study variables, but results suggest that there may be clinically meaningful differences among such residents on Mini Mental State Examination scores, prealbumin results, the Geriatric Depression Scale, and the Katz Activities of Daily Living that call for further investigation.
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