The guide covers all aspects of healthy eating, from why older people are more likely to experience a decrease in appetite, to how to create meals for people who may have lost the triggers that tell us that we are hungry.
The guide features nutritionally balanced meals and recipes that residents of Highmarket House regularly enjoy, ranging from fish cakes with lime and cilantro, to beef stew and dumplings with parsnip and ginger cake.
In addition to food, the guide also offers information on why people’s appetites change and shares tips for people with dementia. As much as possible, eating should be sociable, fun and stimulating.
Here are Highmarket House’s top tips for helping seniors dine with dignity:
– The most important meal of the day – maintaining independence is so important to someone with dementia, and where better to start than at the breakfast table? Make sure all items are accessible, pour milk into small jugs and decant items such as butter, jam and marmalade into ramekins. This can help encourage your loved ones to help themselves to food, if possible.
– Self Serve – Throughout the day, if they can, put your loved one in control of meals by letting them choose from options of what they would like to eat later, helping them pour safely their own sauce and custard in a pitcher, or to help themselves to their own vegetables in serving dishes.
– Tea time – When making tea or coffee, assess whether someone is able to pour their own tea into the teapot or coffee pot. For some, it might be convenient to add their own sugar, but anything that encourages independence is worth it.
– Make it Social – Sit, eat and talk with your loved ones while they dine. This will encourage them to sit longer and continue eating or snacking.
– Keep it simple – Don’t overwhelm a person with dementia with too many choices. Ask closed questions. For example, “Do you prefer toast or porridge?” rather than “What would you like for breakfast?” »
Care UK hospitality manager James Clear, who helped design the guide, said: ‘Every member of the team who works in our homes has a responsibility to ensure that the people who live there are well fed. Every interaction is helpful, whether it’s a cleaner sitting down with a resident for mid-morning tea or a carer suggesting someone eat a piece of fruit as a snack. With all of that in mind, we wanted to make sure that our expertise could be shared to help community members caring for older loved ones, and I think this guide achieves just that.
Francesca Cowley, Home Manager at Highmarket House, added: “Nutrition is hugely important to overall health and well-being, especially for older people, so we are delighted to share our tips and advice for staying nurtured throughout National Nutrition Month and beyond.
“It can be difficult for those caring for a loved one to make sure they eat plenty of nutritious meals and snacks, but our guide is full of recipes and practical tips to help you, including staying as healthy as possible. simple as possible, with fewer meal choices and having a conversation over tea or dinner to encourage loved ones to stay engaged and eat more.
“We would like to encourage locals to download their own copy of the guide and contact us if they need further assistance.”
As well as enjoying nutritious meals and snacks, Care UK home teams and residents across the country enjoyed ‘working out’ in the New Year, trying out fun new forms of exercise to kick off the new Year.