Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Departmental Honors


Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences


In 2000, there were 17,000 nursing homes in the United States housing about 1.5 million residents over the age of 65. Approximately 75% of long-term residents are women. The average length of stay for residents is 2.5 years, so in essence the nursing home becomes their home. Those who are in these long-term care facilities are generally characterized as frail elderly adults who suffer from a host of chronic and acute diseases and conditions. They are most likely cognitively impaired and have a great number of limitations in their activities of daily living (ADL). In addition, data collected by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in 1999-2000 indicated that 28% of nursing facility residents required assistance with eating and 19.2% were totally dependent on eating assistance.



Faculty Mentor

Tamara Vitale

Departmental Honors Advisor

Janet Anderson