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Breakfast club for seniors – rehabilitation through meals and socialising

Malnutrition is a big problem for older people with poor appetite in the health care sector. A new breakfast club at a Danish nursing home has improved the appetite for the residents. The seniors line up to be a part of the social meal initiative.

At Kastaniehaven – a nursing home in Copenhagen – the residents take turns hosting a healthy, nourishing breakfast. With help from the caregivers, the seniors prepare juices and smoothies and other delicious breakfast. They are part of a program at University College Copenhagen, which focusses on rehabilitation through food and meals.

Associate Professor and PhD at University College Copenhagen, Lise Justesen, is in charge of the program. The preliminary evaluations are good, and it looks like the residents have increased their functionality and have become more positive towards the social breakfast events through their participation.

- At first, it was a challenge to engage the residents in the idea of the breakfast club. Some were unsure of the purpose of the breakfast club. Others were insecure about their physical ability to participate. Many of the elderly were nervous about hosting the meal, says Lise Justesen.

Room for every one

For Lise Justesen it is essential that the residents do not feel limited by their physical shape. The employees at the nursing home help to organise each breakfast event and the preparation of the food.

It is okay if the seniors can only manage to read the recipe out loud - as long as they are part of the breakfast club.

The employees at the nursing home are a big part of the progress and the success of the program. The management has secured the resources, and the staff and the caregivers have been very positive.

- The employees use the breakfast club to practice, including the residents. They learn that they are capable of more than they think. It has been a challenge to find time to include all of the attentive staff in the program, and is very positive that they are willing to engage in the new initiative with the residents, says Lise Justesen.   

University College Copenhagen is a member of Welfare Tech.


Lise Justesen

Associate professor, PhD

University College Copenhagen

Health and Nutrition

M: +45 5163 2472

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Randi Villebro


Welfare Tech

Network and matchmaking

T: +45 9320 2520


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Welfare Tech is​ co-financed by the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science and The European Regional Development Fund.

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