Care Home Nutrition
Optimal nutrition and hydration are fundamental to an individual’s health and wellbeing, regardless of their age or capacity – but when considering a person living with a dementia, everyday tasks such as eating and drinking can be inherently challenging.
Nutritional Needs of Older People
From unintentional weight loss to malnutrition due to changes in memory, taste perception and food preferences, poor nutritional status can lead to diminished quality of life, and in some cases, premature illness.
The reasons for poor nutrition and hydration are multi-factorial and can vary depending on the type and severity of a person’s dementia; but by adopting a person-centred practice for care home nutrition, care providers can evoke interest and appetite to optimise and flourish an individual’s health and wellbeing.
Quality Assured Nutrition at B&M Care
Underpinned by the group’s Rose Model of Dementia Care, B&M Care believes that a “person should feel as good as what they eat and drink” – a belief that is instilled in each of our homes through wholesome practice and an understanding that goes beyond a typical dining experience.
Stimulating an individual’s appetite is crucial when optimising food and fluid intake. Factors that have proven to influence a person’s appetite include:
- Being full from a previous meal
- Activity levels throughout the day (facilitated by varied engagement)
- Evoking interest and desire around food appeal
Care Home Menus
Dining at B&M Care is varied and inclusive of all cultural, dietary and lifestyle requirements. Each of our homes offers a daily choice of menu options across four set mealtimes, as well as lighter snacks throughout the day:
- Breakfast (continental and cooked, as well as cereal, porridge and fruit options)
- Lunch (typically a three-course sitting with two main course options)
- Light Dinner (one main course and one dessert)
- Supper (an assortment of light bites)
All meal options are prepared by individuals with extensive experience and a passion for creating wholesome cuisine where nutrition and presentation are both paramount.
In addition to their culinary knowledge, each of our homes’ hospitality staff are trained to understand how a person’s dementia or physical capacity can impair their ability to simply enjoy a meal. Through comprehensive training, as well as our model of care that celebrates the ‘whole person’, food is conscientiously prepared and served so that an individual can eat as independently as they can.
Such approaches include:
- Presenting food that is pre-cut and easy to manage
- Using colourful foods to enhance recognition and appeal
- Using adaptive cutlery and dinnerware to assist an individual when moving food from the plate to their mouth
- Preparing soft food using techniques such as puree food moulds to replicate the presentation of a solid food meal, if a person has a swallowing disorder such as dysphagia
In-line with a group-wide commitment to diversity and learning about cultures different to our own, as well as an aim of evoking that desire around food intake, many of our homes host regular themed days to welcome an opportunity to taste another country’s cuisine. Previous tastings have included: Africa, America, India, Pakistan and Poland.
Exceptional Dining Environments at B&M Care
B&M Care understands the importance of how a setting can influence a person’s dining experience – and aside from comfort and safety, each of our homes’ dining spaces are decorated with a design that encapsulates ambience, immersion, and the simplicity of enjoying a meal.
Favouring smaller spaces over larger communal areas, each B&M Care Home boasts several dining rooms that instil a number of key principles to stimulate a positive dining experience:
- Informal décor
- Removing multiple layers of noise (such as televisions and radios, as well as understanding the impact of food trollies clattering and how loud staff are talking)
- Visual table-top menus (to encourage independence when choosing a meal)
- Smaller groups of people (to enhance meaningful socialisation and to actively reduce noise and distraction)
- Clear lines of sight to outdoor living space and natural light
- Creating a familiar and recognisable space (signposting, wayfinding, colour schemes)
Find Out More
To find out more about B&M Care and our commitment to exceptional health and nutrition plans, contact us today to speak with a member of our team.