As a longstanding supporter of Nutrition and Hydration Week, Care UK teams are poised to pull out all the stops to celebrate the campaign which starts on 14th June.
While Care UK homes enjoy a good reputation for their high standards of meals, nutrition and hydration, catering managers are always seeking to innovate and push the boundaries to delivery even more exceptionally good care. In their constant quest to do even better, they have written and published a brand new booklet on hydration which has been distributed to all 124 Care UK homes.
The booklet covers every aspect of hydration from why older people are more likely to suffer from dehydration to how to create safe drinks for people who have problems with normal swallowing.
The booklet includes recipes that Care UK teams are already using to help residents stay hydrated – something that is of interest to everyone regardless of where they live in the current warm spell. The recipes include a range of garnished flavoured waters, mocktails, strawberry iced tea and fruit puree drinks – all of which will be served to residents in Care UK homes.
As well as drinks, the booklet also helps care home colleagues to find out more about how different foods can also help residents with hydration – this is of particular importance in those who may be reluctant to drink. For example, the book shows how a ripe tomato is actually 94 per cent water, cauliflower is 87 per cent and melon 90 per cent.
Care UK’s Hotel Services Manager James Clear is proud of the booklet that he and his team have written in-house. He said: “Every single person working in our homes has a role to play in ensuring that people living there are properly hydrated. From a maintenance person sitting down with a resident for a mid-morning cuppa to a carer encouraging people to have a piece of fruit as a snack, every interaction helps. With this in mind, I wanted to make sure that our teams have accurate, easy to access information to brush up their knowledge and I think this booklet does that admirably.”
When asked what his top hydration tips were for those caring for loved ones in their own home, James had a very interesting reply. He said: “Think about presentation of their drinks. That might be making sure a favourite mug or glass is always used. If it can be done safely – give cold drinks a garnish with fruit slices or herbs. And for hot weather, make sure drinks are served nice and chilled. There’s research from the National Association of Care Catering which demonstrates seeing the condensation droplets running down a glass or jug can actually trigger our thirst mechanisms. But always be careful of any choking risk from ice or garnishes.”