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The importance of food in care homes

Autumna, a new website that supports self-funding families in their search for the best care, has recently published an excellent post looking at the quality of food in care homes:

Food and nutrition is a key area of focus for a care home, both in the early days of welcoming a new resident, and ongoing for maintaining their health and well-being.

According to The Nursing Times, it is estimated that nearly 40% of people entering a care home are suffering from malnutrition, and it’s rarely due to financial hardship…

An older person living alone at home may eat a nutritionally inferior diet due to a number of factors, such as lack of motivation, loneliness, mobility and digestion issues, lack of support and resistance to trying anything new.

For a new resident, entering a care home is a huge life change and can be a very unsettling and overwhelming time. For someone who is apprehensive about the change, there is often a tendency to resist other changes, particularly around the food that they eat. We find that after years of living at home, some people come to us having become creatures of habit, having not been consuming the right balance of foods, and as a result, missing out on key nutrients. We also know that appetite can reduce substantially as people age, so a plate of food that is too large can be off-putting.

At Holmer Manor, we consider choice, portion size and individual preferences in order to tempt and encourage new residents to make healthy choices and enjoy their food.

“Individuals living alone at home are often isolated and depressed – until they move into a care home.” (Autumna)

Food is easily obtainable throughout the day at Holmer Manor.
We offer three hot meals every day, and fresh fruit, snacks, and hot or cold drinks are available at any time. We know that even when a resident is willing to try new and different foods, they often need reassurance that there’s a back-up available should they require it. Our chefs at Holmer Manor are happy to cook an alternative if a resident doesn’t like any of the options available.

For some residents, meal times, are a time for socialising, where they can enjoy a meal with their friends and linger into the afternoon for coffee. However, other residents may have personal concerns meaning they would rather eat alone. For example, physical limitations leading to self-consciousness, or quite simply a desire to spend mealtimes alone. Recognising and understanding a residents personal concerns is very important to us, and we will always care and respect our residents for the individuals that they are.

Whilst adapting to life in a care home may take time and a gentle approach required with regards to the menu, portion size and frequency of food for some, at Holmer Manor we understand that food and nutrition is an area where there is potential to deliver excellence and create well-being and contentment with all of our residents.

Our menus are reviewed and updated regularly, following feedback and input from our residents, and we welcome families into the home for afternoon tea or dinner whenever they wish.

Take a look at some example menus here –

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