Posted: 02.04.21 at 13:23 by Philippa Davies
Good nutrition and hydration are vital to the health of elderly residents in care homes, but no-one likes being nagged about eating their ‘five a day’ fruit and vegetables and drinking more water. At Doveleigh Care’s three homes in Sidmouth, Seaton and Colyton, staff work hard to provide health-boosting food and drink that the residents will enjoy. Variety is the key, with the residents constantly encouraged to sample new dishes and flavours, or rediscover foods they loved in the past.
Exploring menus from different countries is turned into a fun celebration by adding props, accessories and music. Senior Manager Samantha Evens said: “In all three of our homes we have a variety of ways to maintain a balanced diet. We have a Daily Fruit Boost, Nutrition Boost and Hydration Boost. Each day we try something new, and then we gain feedback from residents as to what they like and see if we can add to our snack bars and menus. This is also a great way to boost fluid and food intake in a fun way. Some residents struggle to maintain good hydration and nutrition levels, but by joining in this and having fun they increase levels without realising.
"We also had a resident who use to love Dandelion and Burdock and hadn’t had this for years prior to having it on the boost. We have themed food months which also tempt people with new foods, such as French February, Mexican March and American April. We get into the spirit by playing themed music, along with props too. We celebrate National days like National Bread Day, Carrot Cake and Waffle Day and these then are all linked to reminiscence discussions. On National Waffle Day they tried different types of waffles and discussed what toppings or sauces they preferred with them.
"The residents enjoy Jelly Drops too. These are used to help boost hydration intake, as they are an engaging sweet which is made from 95% water.”