Promoting Adequate Nutrition and Hydration
Ways to Promote Adequate Nutrition and Hydration:
- Mealtimes should be promoted in a way in which people look forward to them and enjoy them. Part of a person’s health and wellbeing is about feeling happy and content, as well as meeting the requirements of keeping them nutritionally sustained.
- Offer a different menu for each day and allow people to choose alternatives
- Lead by example. For example if staff eat with service users then it is important that they model good practice as some service users may see them as role models
- If the person can not express their choice in words show pictures of the food or look for other ways to help the individual to understand their choices and communicate their choices.
- Plan meal choices with the person in conjunction with deciding upon their weekly shopping
- If someone has lost their appetite through ill health or needs “building up” as part of their recovery. Provide food in a way which encourages the person to try it e.g. by providing them with small well presented portions at first and increasing them over time and by adding ingredients which may build them up such as cream.
- If the person is on a low income provide advice and assistance with budgeting
- Go at the pace a person is comfortable with. Encourage the person to take their time and to sip drinks if they are not feeling well enough to drink large quantities
- Maintain a calm environment with no distractions
- Be aware of a person’s preferred time for eating their main meals of the day (or any meal). Consider whether they would prefer to eat at the table or at home rather than out.
- Speak to your line manager who may seek advice from a dietician, if there are doubts in relation to someone’s eating habits i.e. if they are unwell/recuperating/have allergies or an intolerance to specific foods or where medication has a bearing on diet.
- Speak to your line manager who may seek advice from a physiotherapist, occupational therapist or speech therapist if a person has difficulty feeding themselves. They may be able to provide specialist equipment/utensils to enable people’s independence and maintain their dignity. This should only be done with the consent from the person.
- Consider that independence could be maintained by doing something in a different way e.g. use of slow cookers, reorganising cupboards and their contents, using teabags rather than a teapot, using a one cup hot water dispenser rather than boiling the kettle.
Use to answer question 8.1d of the Care Certificate