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FOOD AND DRINK


and even drink properly. Sometimes getting this seen to can make all the difference.


Modified texture foods may be important for people with swallowing difficulties. If you are not already in touch with your local dietetic service, I would strongly recommend you make contact. This is one of the best ways to engage with this issue, with the service able to provide resources and training to your whole team and to help you make other connections, including perhaps to speech and language therapists who can provide expert assistance if you have residents with swallowing problems.


MAKING A DIFFERENCE


There is clearly a business case for care homes to focus on tackling malnutrition too. We know that people who are malnourished cost more to manage (potentially three to four times more) than those who are well nourished. It is care homes that have to absorb these costs that can so easily spiral out of control.


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But, of course, there is more to this than money. It is deeply distressing for care home teams to see somebody who is suffering because they are malnourished. We all know how deeply and genuinely care home staff care for their residents and, when you see the effects of malnutrition up close, it can be very upsetting. On the flipside, I have seen so many teams buoyed by their success in helping somebody to turn a corner and get back to a healthy weight. When a resident has spent months struggling at home before being admitted to you, and you have picked up their risk early and intervened, that is a wonderful thing to achieve and to share as a team.


I would urge you to think about formalising your approach to malnutrition prevention and management as a good way to unite your team and focus on new goals in the midst of this current crisis, as well as ensuring you are ready to fully nourish the vulnerable older people who come to your door.


https://www.malnutritionpathway.co.uk/carehomes


https://www.bapen.org.uk/screening-and-must/must/ introducing-must


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