Unintentional weight loss is a health risk for residents of aged care facilities, a concern for families and places demands on nursing staff. An existing weight loss framework to assess and manage residents' weight developed by a multidisciplinary team was implemented and evaluated with nurses and residents in aged care facilities within an area health service of Sydney, Australia. Thematic analysis generated seven binary concepts relating to relational, procedural, behavioural, physical, psychological, environmental and temporal aspects of feeding assistance provided by nurses to residents. Theoretical sampling was applied to the literature confirming those concepts which were organized as a model of feeding assistance labelled the Focus on Feeding! Decision Model.
Nurses can play a pivotal role in the assessment of feeding difficulty and implementation of innovative mealtime programs. The Model aims to promote nurses' critical thinking and decision-making to improve nutritional intake of residents and avoid preventable weight loss.