Food and Nutrition in a Care Home
Nursing Homes must develop a comprehensive Nutritional Policy
The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) have recognized the vital role that food and nutrition plays in terms of health and well-being in Residential Care Setting. As a result they have commenced themed audits on Food and Nutrition in a Residential Care Setting. The day of the “goodie” is over!
Now, each Nursing Home must develop a comprehensive Nutritional Policy based on 10 key points which range from serving Safe Food to having a Resident Center Approach. To implement a successful Nutritional Policy there must be a team approach to the provision of nutritional needs. We can help you with this!
One of our clients had a HIQA audit on Food and Nutrition with wonderful results. Some key reasons for their success was the Chef knew the Residents likes and dislikes, who needed special monitoring, fortification and assistance. More importantly each resident was offered a choice at meal-times and the food was presented in a careful appetizing manner.
We purchased plates with three dividers and got silicone baking trays in pretty shapes to bake-off cooked dishes in an appealing manner. Neither presentation was difficult or expensive but simple and very cost effective. The food looked good!
The Dining Room once resembled Grand Central Station but now with light music or the one o’ clock news on the atmosphere is more like a busy, pleasant restaurant.
Tables are properly set with colour coded table mats and beakers to identify residents that may require further attention. There is no such thing as “special feeds in at midday”, there is only one sitting and everybody is the same!
Interior decoration is important in the Dining Room- soothing colours, warm curtains, flowers and music all lend to a pleasant atmosphere requested by HIQA.
When the themed audit was announced, the Chef thought the responsibility would all fall on her shoulders. However, through training all staff we demonstrated that Food, Nutrition and Diet is a team event in every home. Nurses may draw up the nutritional care plan but care assistants monitor it with the dedicated help of the Kitchen staff.