At our care home in Worcester, Stanfield Nursing Home, we regard the quality of the food provided to our residents as just as important as any other aspect of their care. Food and nutrition plays a powerful role in keeping people happy and healthy. That goes for everyday life. In the elderly, where there may be additional things to consider such as diabetes or dementia, its importance is even more pronounced.
In recent news articles, the significance of a healthy diet and good nutrition in reducing the onset of dementia has been widely reported. Studies show that following a Mediterranean diet and eating lots of Extra Virgin Olive Oil is widely associated with helping to preserve memory and protect against Alzheimer’s.
The Alzheimer’s Society state Alzheimer’s is a lifestyle related disease and, as such, the best way to reduce the risk of dementia is to adapt various aspects of your lifestyle. This includes adopting a more Mediterranean style diet as well as addressing other factors such as stopping smoking and increasing exercise.
The influence of food and nutrition is unquestionably an important one
Knowing the effect that good nutrition can have on improving and maintaining brain health and a person’s overall well being, is why the food philosophy at our dementia care home in Worcester is to provide locally sourced ingredients and make freshly prepared meals from scratch.
Residents at Stanfield have a balanced, varied and wholesome diet. Everyday we serve three main meals: breakfast, lunch and a light supper, with snacks in between. We change our menus weekly and seasonally. All of our fruit and veg is sourced from the farm shop at the bottom of our lane. All of our meat comes from a local butcher. We believe in using quality produce and preparing our meals from scratch so we provide the maximum variety and nutritional value for our residents.
Mealtimes at our Worcester care home
Most of our residents enjoy a good traditional roast. It’s one of our most popular meals and a regular feature on the menu. However, the age group we are supporting at Stanfield were also the pioneers of the package holidays. Therefore, high on the list of favourites are Italian, French and Spanish dishes. And, with our close proximity to Birmingham, the Balti experience is another firm favourite!
Because digestion slows down as we age, we work our mealtimes so our Worcester care home residents can eat their main meal at lunch, with lighter options available for supper. Our supper menu includes the widest choice possible from freshly cooked items including favourites such as boiled eggs and soldiers to omelettes with various fillings. The meals are light and it enables our residents to choose at the last minute.
Providing a varied diet ensures we are delivering the best nutrition possible to our residents with maximum choice and fulfilling our duty of care.
Any nursing home operating in the UK has to ensure they are meeting individual nutritional requirements, which can vary among residents.
At each mealtime, as well as our main standard menu, all residents are offered the choice menu. Having a wide range of extras means all of our residents are well catered for.
It’s really important to us that our residents are able to eat the food they want and are able to. Personal choice is a basic right, so we take note of the likes and dislikes of each person.
And, where specific dietary requirements exist, we cater for them.
To ensure mealtimes remain an enjoyable time for our residents with dementia, our trained staff take a delicate approach to the practicalities of meal selection. They are skilled at eliciting preferences and it is our policy to make sure that meal options are presented as close to mealtimes as possible. This helps to remove any potential distress and confusion that could arise by forgotten choices.
Food is not just key from the perspective of providing good nutrition. Eating is both a necessary act yet it is also a sensory and social experience that feeds into a person’s overall sense of well being.
Residents at our Worcester care home have the option to dine as part of a group in our dining room, in any of the social areas of the home or their own bedroom.
Many of our residents are able to fully participate at mealtimes. However, when someone is no longer independent enough to be able to do so, our nursing home staff offer support in completing the meal.
Sometimes, intensive nutritional support may need to be provided. Often this occurs when the person is suffering from dementia or diseases that affect motor skills. Where this occurs, a trained member of staff will assist in guiding forkfuls of food from plate to mouth or cup to mouth. Supporting in this way ensures we are also helping to maintain motor skills.
We understand that motor skill coordination can change throughout the day. So to maintain dignity and independence, when a resident shows signs of being able to support their own mealtimes we encourage them to do so.
Food and nutrition play a big part in a person’s well being. It’s for this reason we make it such a central part of the care we provide at our nursing home.
If you would like to know more about the care we provide at our nursing home in Worcester, you are very welcome to call or arrange a visit to look round our home and gardens. Our telephone number is 01905 420 459.
You might also like to read our previous blog on the Macmillan Coffee Morning that we recently hosted at our Worcestershire care home with nursing.