Meal Practices and Meal Events in a Nursing Home

Lise Justesen *, Ute Walter, svend skafte overgaard, anne marie beck, Niels Heine Kristensen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


A growing ageing population demands new welfare solutions. Involving residents in nursing home meals as a rehabilitation strategy has been suggested. Existent scientific knowledge on meal practices that consider the dynamic aspect of meals is limited. This include meal evens. Exploring nursing homes meals through meal practices and meal events might contribute to new knowledge on meals and a discussion on resident involvement in food related activities. This study contributes to knowledge and understandings of how nursing home meals come into being as meal practices and meal events and to discuss potential opportunities for involving residents in food related activities. An ethnographic study in a Danish nursing home with 4 departments, was conducted over one year. Semi-structured interviews with six residents and four Health Care Professionals, 100 hours of participant observations in combination with collaborative visual methods was applied. Interviews and observation notes were analyzed though a hermeneutic analysis. Five meal practices (Coviviality, Healthy, Hotel, As before and Interactive) and five meal events (Dinner event, Coffee-event, Mug-event, Toast event, and Glass event) were identified. Meal practices tended to pacify residents whereas opportunities for involvement was identified through co-creative processes and disruptive microevents. This included well know and cultural learned hospitality actions and shifting host and guest roles but also in events that changes every day meal practices. Meal practices is cultural and professionally learned and based on intentionally as well as unintentionally practices. A developed meal practice which focuses on co-creational processes and disruptive micro-events and a hospitality approach where shifting host and guest roles is performed is suggested as opportunities for residents to be involved in food related activities.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusSubmitted - 20 Dec 2020

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