Why an Individual might have Poor Drinking and Eating Habits and How to Address This

Why an Individual might have Poor Drinking and Eating Habits

Both people who under-eat and people who over-eat run the risk of becoming malnourished. We can not force or bully someone into changing their eating and drinking habits but we can point out the risks to their health.

Sometimes poor nutrition is a result of not being made fully aware of the short or long term consequences, a person may have had poor eating habits throughout their life and may consequently find changing them very difficult. Staff may need to help educate a person about portion size and explain the importance and positive benefits of eating a balanced diet.

Where someone lacks capacity to make a reasoned decision about what they eat and drink we have a duty to ensure that their nutrition and hydration are a major focus of our support and that we act in their best interests by providing them with a balanced, varied and enjoyable diet.

How to Support a Person to Address Poor Drinking and Eating Habits:

  • By being sensitive to them and to their dignity while generally educating them on the risks and dangers.
  • By educating a person about the risks. This may bring to light whether the person has actually made an informed decision on food choices or whether it is a lack of information about the consequences of their eating habits that is resulting in them making poor choices with regards to food.

If a paid or informal carer fail to attend to a person’s nutritional and hydration needs it is regarded as neglect and should be investigated as a safeguarding concern.

If you suspect that an individual has an eating disorder they should immediately flag this up with their manager so that the person is directed to specialist support.

Use to answer question 8.1d of the Care Certificate

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