Nutrition and hydration support is a key element for the Enhanced Health in Care Homes (EHiCH) project.
Care home residents often have diverse nutritional needs and taste preferences, which can sometimes be challenging for staff, relatives and others to meet. Cognitive difficulties, frailty, dental issues, and swallowing difficulties (dysphagia) will also impact on a person’s ability to meet their nutritional needs.
Anyone who is unable to meet their nutritional needs is more likely to have:
- Increased risk of illness, infection and pressure ulcers
- Slower wound healing
- Increased risk of falls
- Low mood and energy levels
- Loss of muscle strength
- Reduced independence and ability to carry out daily activities
Every care home resident’s nutrition and hydration needs should be reviewed regularly and included in their personalised care plan to ensure that their individual needs are identified early and appropriately met.
Dietitians have a key role in supporting care homes with their nutritional care and working in collaboration with the multidisciplinary team. As part of the EHiCH project, we are currently scoping the dietetic service for Sheffield care homes and identifying what resources, training and support is needed to shape the nutrition and hydration care provided to residents and staff. For further information, please contact Nerissa Walker (Specialist Dietitian for EHiCH) at [email protected]
Speech and Language Therapists provide specialist assessment and advice for people identified by care home staff as having dysphagia.