VACANT:257 - Nutrition
Organization: Elderly home Region: Turrialba, Costa Rica

In Costa Rica, people usually try to take care of the elderly that can no longer live by themselves, among close family members. Only when it is not possible due to illnesses, a very high level of care that is required, or when there are no familymembers  or when people simply don't want to because of negative feelings  the older person, they turn to an "elderly home"  for care. Fortunately places like "San BuenAventura" do exist. It is spacious, clean, well organized and equipped although it is highly dependent on government's support and individuals donations to keep it functioning well. 

This Institution on average has 72 persons living here full time from which 50 are men and 22 women. Also of these 72 persons, appr. 35 are mobile only with their wheelchair. There is one physical therapist that is responsible for half-yearly evaluations of all members and elaborating a yearly individual workplan. Objectives are established and monitored on the physical and cognitive level. For each inhabitant a file is available and althought most information is officially totally confidential, medical information can be shared and if necessary exceptions can also be made.

At this elderly home work various professionals such as: 4 licensed nurss, 1 physical therapist and 1 licensed nutricionats for 16 hours per week ( 2 days a week)


Good nutrition for elderly people has a special challenge since older people are more vulnerable and often have special dietary needs because of illness. The central kitchen offers a general menu for the inhabitants and also offers meals for inhabitants with special needs.

As an intern you can:

  • help improve the general and special menu's
  • help analyse if the inhabitants are getting the correct diet or if the diets should be updated
  • help the inhabitants with special diet needs to understand why they need to eat different what they need to eat/ avoid.
  • you may also do your own assignment as long as this is approved by the elderly home


The part/ time nutricionist will be your supervisor. Please note that she only works part time at this institution so check well with your university if thiosis allowed. Aslo you should be able to work indepently, especially when your supervisor is not there.


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