CareCatering for CareProfessional Comment

Nutrition and Hydration Essential To Residents’ Health and Wellbeing

Spring has officially sprung! And with the weather getting warmer, it won’t be long before summer comes knocking at the door. But while we look forward to greeting the much beloved warmer months with open arms, an element of caution must also be granted within care homes. The summer days present new opportunities for residents such as el fresco dining, outdoor afternoon tea or simply a few strolls in the fresh air. However, to ensure that residents can enjoy these luxuries safely, care operators must make certain considerations.

Nutrition and hydration are essential to residents’ health and wellbeing and can help prevent malnutrition and dehydration, which if not carefully monitored, can occur in hot weather. In fact, The Food Standards Agency recommends at least 6-8 glasses of fluids every day, with evidence suggesting that good hydration can help to prevent falls, constipation, pressure sores, blood pressure problems and headaches.

Sometimes residents are reluctant to drink or may simply forget, meaning care operators need to be on the ball and find other ways to increase fluid intake. One way to help residents drink plenty of water and stay hydrated is to bring residents and staff together! Get creative and have some fun whilst helping to address this important topic, why not get your residents to make and stick posters around their care home highlighting the importance of staying healthy and reminding others to drink regularly? Or perhaps turn it into a competition, encouraging residents to keep a tally on how many glasses of water they can drink throughout the week with a winner announced at the end.

But it isn’t enough to just serve cups of water to your residents throughout the day. Incorporating drinks into the activities and social events you have going on in your care home is a great way to support residents with hydration from afternoon tea to happy hour! For an added layer of hydration, do a round of hot and cold drinks in the morning and evening to ensure residents receive their daily fluid intake, with staff always on hand for those who need assistance. And don’t just stop at the staff in your care home, encourage any family or friends visiting to offer and have a drink with their loved one

As well as the drinks you’re offering, it’s important to develop a well-balanced but deliciously good menu with an array of dishes that are high in water content. The likes of cucumber, watermelon, celery and lettuce are high in water content and make great salads when tossed in a tasty dressing. And for something sweet after, why not offer round some jelly or make up a fruit salad for event more water.

For more on nutrition and hydration as well as our other support tools for the care sector, visit this link