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FOOD & DRINK


“When we age our ability to sense when we’re


thirsty weakens over time,


combined with the fact that older people tend to have a


lower percentage of water in their bodies anyway.”


vegetables, nuts and bread. We ensure we fortify menus for residents where it’s necessary, using full fat milk, butter and cream in recipes to increase the calorie content for people with small appetites.


Vitamin D is a key part of an over 65s diet, as it helps the body to absorb calcium more easily – this is found in oily fish, red meat and fortified foods such as breakfast cereals. We have weekly roast dinners and fish on the menu each Friday which proves very popular with the residents and helps to boost their vitamin D intake.


In later life, there are many reasons why mealtimes can sometimes become tricky for residents; tastes can change, appetites can deplete, and we tend to become less mobile as we age. Mealtimes can also be an area of concern for those living with dementia, when communication and motor difficulties can seriously affect how food is consumed.


At The Royal Alfred, we have a specialist dementia annexe which cares for 36 residents living with the disease. I work with my catering staff to ensure that we make mealtimes as easy


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as possible for these residents and their carers. Sometimes, simple changes such as altering mealtimes where sleep patterns are disrupted can have a big impact as residents may become hungry and only want to eat at midnight, rather than at teatime. This ensures that whatever the individual’s personal circumstance may be, we can deliver on our key responsibility of providing the residents with the correct nutrition, around the clock.


All in all, we think it’s important to remember that it’s our role as members of the catering team to help residents lead happy and healthy lives and meals contribute to this. Having a resident’s favourite meal on the menu gives them something to look forward to and can bring a smile to their face. Allowing the residents the simple chance to choose (within reason) what they would like to eat that day and supply those living in our care home with the nutrition that is important in all stages of life, but especially in later life.


https://royalalfredseafarers.co.uk - 29 -


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