In/dependence and Agency in the Everyday Life of the Older People on the Example of Food Preparation and Consumption

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Rok publikování 2023
Druh Další prezentace na konferencích
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Fakulta sociálních studií

Popis A nutritious and enjoyable eating experience is important to achieve good health and well-being in old age. Procuring, preparing, and consuming food is important in people’s lives and identity construction. Meals add a sense of meaning and structure to an older adult’s day, providing the feeling of independence and control and are based on their agency. In this contribution, we focus on the choices that older people have in their eating habits. We focus on frail older people, with varying degrees of disability, dependent on care. Based on a secondary analysis of interviews with older people in care homes and in-home environments dependent on care, we explore how different care regimes in the Czech Republic limit or support the identity of older adults associated with their eating habits, and how they can exercise agency to achieve satisfactory forms of their eating. Meals in care homes in the Czech Republic are strictly regulated by hygiene standards, and client and food safety are prioritized over the qualitative or identity-forming elements of food, as well as over the promotion of clients’ self-sufficiency. The nutritional aspect of the diet is emphasised. However, even within these care regimes, older adults apply different strategies to meet their needs regarding their meal’s composition and timing. These strategies are pursued in this paper. This work was supported by the Czech Science Foundation (GAČR), project No. GA23-06348S (Meanings of food intake in old age).
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