Nutrition & Hydration Week – 2019
Nutrition and Hydration week runs from 17th – 23rd March. Its mission is to create a movement that will reinforce and focus, energy, activity and engagement on nutrition and hydration as an important part of quality care, experience and safety improvement in health and social care settings.
For further information about this national campaign – www.nutritionandhydrationweek.co.uk
Nutrition and hydration in a person’s health is a fundamental part of any stage of life. None more so for those in the community who are more vulnerable like the elderly.
Quality & compassionate care involves the person as a whole and not only the medical condition they live with. Part of this care is to recognise the importance of eating & drinking well on a consistent basis.
Good nutrition & hydration enhances well-being, helping to reduce the use of medication and the prevention of illnesses and hospitalisation.
- Malnutrition affects 10% of the elderly population
- 93% of people at risk of malnutrition live in the community
- Poor nutrition can contribute to illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer & bone
- 25% of elderly people have mild chronic dehydration
Good nutrition and regular physical activity play a protective role in a number of age-related conditions. The more enjoyment people have with food the healthier they will live in later life.
Signs & Symptoms of Malnutrition
- Lack of interest in eating & Drinking
- Feeling tired all the time
- Feeling weak
- Becoming ill more often & taking longer to recover
Top Nutrition Tips
- Eating smaller portions more often
- Sharing meals with someone
- Chopped up vegetables and fruit as snack foods
- Less salt & sugars and more starchy carbohydrates & fish
The elderly do not have to drink only plain water to get hydrated. Coffee, tea, fruit juice, sweetened beverages, fruits & vegetables all contain water for healthy living.
Signs & Symptoms of Dehydration
- Feeling thirsty
- Dark yellow & strong smelling urine which can cause urinary tract infections which can then lead to confusion and hospitalisation
- Feeling dizzy, lightheaded & tired which can result in falls and hospitalisation
- Dry mouth, lips & eyes
Top Hydration Tips
- Smaller drinks on a regular basis
- Smoothies & milkshakes
- Homemade ice lollies & jelly
- Eating more fruits that contain a high % of water (strawberries, watermelon, grapefruit & peaches)
Care in the Community
McDonald Homecare provides Lifestyle Companions who are able to visit or live with elderly clients and support with nutrition & hydration.
Through quality care at home services, we are helping people to enjoy home cooked meals that are tasty & nutritious. Our Lifestyle Companions are also there to oversee regular drinks for a healthy life in older age.