Nursing Homes Must Strive to Maintain Their Residents’ Nutritional Status at Optimum Levels—Especially Those at High Risk of Hip Fracture

Hip fractures (HFs) are highly prevalent among older adults and are a major cause of severe, often constant functional impairment. Those with HFs have diminished self-care abilities, causing increased disability and significant loss in independence and quality of life. Although there are those who are able to obtain complete functional restoration, most suffer from continuous decline. The caring of the average geriatric patient with HF calls for high hospital and long-term costs. Thus, it is important to identify factors that benefit or hinder regeneration to provide optimized treatment of all modifiable factors during rehabilitation. Malnutrition is very common among older hospitalized patients, with as many as 63% of geriatric patients with HF being malnourished or at risk of malnutrition.

A recent study explored how nutritional status before HF influences postoperative functional recovery in older patients with HFs. The study aimed to examine functional and clinical trajectories over time in accordance to prefracture nutritional status in a group of geriatric HF patients from all functional and cognitive levels. Researchers of the study hypothesized that worse nutritional status is associated with worse functional recovery and worse clinical course. The study’s results showed that worse prefracture nutritional status was associated with worse functional status and more frequent remaining functional loss. Nursing homes must strive to maintain their residents’ nutritional status at optimal levels.