This chapter discusses food and nutrition, drawing on four diverse NDA projects with this common theme. It highlights the importance of nutrition to well-being in later life and the danger that malnutrition poses. After a brief description of the projects, the chapter examines four essential issues: biographical experiences with food and their impact in old age; lifestyle including physical, social and family contexts; health and well-being; and the loss of independence. The chapter presents key points into the roles that food plays in old age and clear policy guidance on how to tackle the scourge of under-nutrition.
Prevalence and risk of malnutrition amongst older people admitted to hospital remains high and a holistic approach to nutritional management is needed. An ethnographic study across 5 hospitals identified several factors contributing to undernutrition in older people in hospital, underpinned by a lack of accountability in nutritional care. The current study adopted an iterative co-design process to develop a novel prototype for nutritional care in hospitals that employed a series of smart interfaces and built a chain of accountability into patient food provision.