Hazel Detsiny, VP of Food & Refreshment Away From Home at Unilever UK&I, says: “We believe that elderly care homes should feel just like a home-from-home, which is why we are dedicated to supporting the care sector to create a happy environment for both residents and staff.
“The last twelve months have been challenging for everyone, so we wanted to offer support through meaningful activities to help boost residents’ mental health, improve nutritional wellbeing, whilst empowering and training staff to help them provide the best care possible. We would encourage people in the industry to visit our ‘This is Home’ platform on our website where they can get advice, download fun activities and useful tools, as well as find great tasting recipes that will be sure to put a smile on all faces.”
The ‘This is Home’ platform is driven by four core principles:
With many residents feeling lonely, isolated and generally down during the pandemic, Unilever Away From Home has created several free resources designed to keep spirits high and conversations going. A collection of ‘Posters From The Past’, brought together iconic adverts from the Unilever archives, which could be downloaded and printed to reignite happy memories and encourage residents to reminisce. They could also be requested as postcards, helping residents stay in touch with loved ones during the pandemic. A guide to video calling was created, so residents knew how to stay digitally connected with their friends and families. The Unilever Away From Home team sent these free resources to over 2,200 care homes across UK & Ireland, and they are also freely available to download on the Unilever Food Solution website. So far, the kits have been downloaded more than 500 times and are now being used by Unilever to support care homes in other countries too.
The care sector is only able to function thanks to the outstanding work of its staff. Unilever Away From Home wants to empower, train and inspire chefs through its elderly care specialist culinary team, in the hopes of enhancing the mealtime experiences of residents, as well as offering the support to all care sector staff.
To ensure chefs in the care sector felt supported, Unilever Away From Home has created a dedicated hub via a closed Facebook group. With over 160 members, it is a safe space where care sector chefs, or anyone involved in the provision of food and drink to residents living in care, can come together to share inspiration, ideas and advice.
To recognise and celebrate the incredible chefs working in the care sector, Unilever Away From Home is sponsoring this year’s NACC Care Chef of the Year competition. This prestigious culinary competition is not only open to those working in care homes, but also extends to local authorities and other care organisations including hospices.
Heart – Bring people together to create happy environments and a sense of belonging
Bringing people together to create happy environments and a sense of belonging is key in later life, which is why Unilever Away From Home is a proud partner of leading industry organisations such as NAPA, NACC and Our Yesterday. Via the website, people can look at the best free resources available from Unilever itself and its partners to help keep residents’ spirits up as well as providing guidance for care workers.
A resident’s physical health is crucial, which is why Unilever is on a mission to support the hydration and nutritional needs of residents living in care. Whether its main meals, snacks, starters or desserts, Unilever has an extensive product range, featuring iconic brands such as Knorr® Professional and Carte D’Or, as well as a bank of healthy, nutritional recipes. All of this is designed to provide chefs with the tools they need to create dishes that are quick, easy and guaranteed to deliver on taste and health.
A known challenge in care is the hydration of residents, so Unilever Away From Home created ‘Hydration Kits’, these included posters and activity sheets to remind residents to drink. Recipes with high water content, designed to specifically tackle hydration can also be found on the website.
To find out more about initiatives, available resources, get advice, find recipes and understand the Unilever Away From Home product offering please visit – www.unileverfoodsolutions.co.uk/chef-inspiration/elderly-care-this-is-home/what-is-this-is-home.html or call the Unilever support team on 0860 31 41 51.