To mark Nutrition and Hydration Week, Bidfood has launched a new guide that aims to help care homes find novel and creative ways to achieve healthy hydration amongst residents.
Free to download from here, Bidfood has designed the guide to support those caring for the 40,000+ elderly and disabled people currently in residential care and nursing homes across the UK. With an extra 71,000 care home spaces needed in the next eight years, it’s more important than ever that caterers have the tools and resources to ensure the specialist needs of the elderly are met with not only nourishing, but inspiring, solutions.
Bidfood’s Nutrition and Hydration guide includes everything from recipes and educational quizzes, to guidance on fluid intake. For example, by giving residents their own jug of water and access to squash sticks, they can independently prepare their own soft drinks and maintain their individual drinking routines. Equally, for any residents who have difficulty swallowing, slightly thickened drinks can be provided, which will move more slowly in the mouth and be easier for them to control.
Vicky Mogford, Marketing Manager, Customer Marketing at Bidfood, said: “Malnutrition is a key issue amongst the elderly and it’s imperative that healthy hydration levels are maintained throughout the day. This can be from both hot and cold drinks as well as food with high water content, such as vegetables. The right food and drink can enhance a resident’s experience as well as play a part in their care and wellbeing – irrespective of their length of stay.
“It’s of course of vital importance that strict nutritional standards are met, however we also believe that sharing a drink or meal together should be enjoyed. Sadly, many of the elderly can experience a loss in appetite – meaning it’s even more important that food and drink options are as appealing as possible.
“Eating and drinking can be a wonderful social experience, and can bring a lot of pleasure through taste, presentation and flavour. Our guide is about marrying the two up – bringing together the nutritional needs of the elderly along with creativity to inspire care home catering teams to bring innovative solutions to residents.”
Bidfood’s guide also includes advice on tableware and how to ensure residents can hydrate safely. For example, providing biodegradable straws meaning residents don’t need to tip their heads back when drinking, which can open the airways and cause choking. Or offering drinking cups with handles which are easy to grip, to help reduce spillages amongst residents who have tremors.
The Bidfood Nutrition and Hydration guide will launch this month (March 2018) with a roadshow, taking place during Nutrition and Hydration Week. The roadshow will see the team visit various care homes across the country to host nutrition experiences including making healthy smoothies, a ‘golden oldie’ cinema with popcorn and ice cream, and a mid-week roast.
For more information or to download the guide please visit our care home page.
 Lancet medical journal