Nutrition and Hydration Week
The week-long event is largely targeted at those working in health and social care due to the significant impact malnutrition can have on patients and residents.
Why is nutrition and hydration so important?
Malnutrition is rife in health and social care settings, affecting 35% of care home residents and 30% of hospital patients. This has resulted in astronomical costs for the Government – £23.5 billion in the UK which is 15% of the total expenditure for health and social care – owing to that malnutrition has such a ripple effect on individuals health and wellbeing in so many ways, including:
- Increased risk of infections
- Poor wound healing
- Mental health decline
- Social isolation
- Increased frailty and falls
Additionally, risk of malnutrition increases with age. That’s because as we get older, our thirst reflex naturally declines which means that thirst is no longer a reliable indicator for dehydration. Added to this, for those who suffer with a cognitive impairment such as dementia or stroke, memory issues may play a part in either remembering to drink or even how to drink. Further, reduced mobility and dexterity may make it harder for some older people to prepare a drink for themselves. These older people will require much more support with fluid intake. For more information on risk factors, read this blog.
What happens during nutrition and hydration week?
Nutrition and Hydration week is backed by a team of professionals widely promoting:
- The 10 Key Characteristics for Good Nutritional Care
- The minimum standards for good nutrition in all settings
- Protected Mealtimes
- Nutrition and hydration practices
- Continued Education and professional development.
Most importantly, they want it to be fun and informative, so they encourage everyone to hold a Global Tea Party on Wednesday during Nutrition and Hydration Week.
How can care home caterers get involved?
There are lots of ways that caterers can get involved in Nutrition and Hydration week:
- Download the nutrition and hydration week handbook – full of ideas, tips and practical advice on how to make your week a huge success!
- Caterers can also subscribe to nutrition and hydration week newsletter for inspiration.
- We also recommend following Nutrition and Hydration Week on social channels, where content is posted weekly to support the event
- Caterers can access a variety of resources including posters, recipes, templates and pledge cards.
For more information on Nutrition and Hydration Week, click here.