Care homes must ensure that all residents have enough to eat and drink and the help that people need to eat and drink when they need it. NICE Clinical Guidance 32 requires that all people in care homes should be screened on admission. Its important that care homes have in place robust mechanisms for measuring, monitoring and implementing interventions to ensure that all residents have a nutritional component to their care plan. The Care Quality Commission provides more info.
The Nutrition Wheel
In partnership with numerous organisations, we have pulled together tools that have been developed for use in the community by non-clinical staff, including volunteers and carers who work with older people, or by older people and their families. Find out more
Staying hydrated as we get older
A really useful leaflet from Wessex AHSN, which not only offers guidance to older people about staying hydrated but also advice for someone caring for an older person.
The University of East Anglia: Drinkit
The University of East Anglia has undertaken extensive research in exploring how we can support older people, particularly those living in care homes, to drink well – the best way of preventing low-intake dehydration.
Working collaboratively with care home staff from eleven care homes in Norfolk and Suffolk, UK (with funding support from the Dunhill Medical Trust and UEA Impact Fund), the team have developed the ‘DrinKit’, a four-part guide to support hydration care in care homes.
I-Hydrate project - University of West London
The I-Hydrate project has explored how hydration care is delivered in two care homes.
They offer practical ideas aimed at increasing resident fluid consumption, and how to make changes to care dellivery. The infographic is a helpful reminder of why hydration is so important and can be viewed here.
Integrating good nutrition into daily practice
This fact sheet, produced by Consultant Dietitian Anna Holdoway, and GP Dr Anita Nathan, GP and is for healthcare professionals working in care homes to highlight why tackling malnutriton in care homes is so important. It offers practical actions that professionals can implement and can be opened here.
Advice on Egg Safety - Care Home Catering
The Food Standards Agency has recently updated its advice on egg safety, confirming that British Lion eggs are safe enough for even vulnerable groups, such as pregnant women, elderly people and babies to consume when raw or runny.
Dignity in care: nutrition for older people in care homes
Social Care Institute for excellence
This film highlights the role of good nutritional care and hydration for older people living in residential care homes. Watch here.
Implementing a Food First approach to tackle malnutrition
Laura Clarke, Specialist Dietitian, and Jayne Brocklehurst, Dietetic Prescribing Lead, tell us about the great work that is being done in Doncaster to tackle malnutrition by implementing a food first approach in care homes and primary care settings. Read more.
The Hydrant is a hands-free drinking system which can help anyone who struggles to hold, lift or reach a drink. It allows the person to drink 1 litre of water independently preventing dehydration. Find out more.
Hydration at home
A project which trained care home staff to be 'Hydration Champions' to raise awareness around hydration within their care homes, and actively encourage other staff and residents to work together to achieve optimal or optimum hydration, with a focus on fun and creativity. Read more.
Meal time experience audit tool for Care Homes
This handy tool can be used to audit the quality of meal times in your care home. It can be kept for good practice assurance and as evidence for CQC inspections.
Care Home Companion
NHS Southern Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group
This site offers lots of helpful tips and practical solutions for those working in care homes to ensure good practice. Find information and resources on lots of topics including eating, drinking, swallowing problems and mouth care.
Undernutrition Awareness and Training
The Wessex AHSN has put together a toolkit of resources (endorsed by the British Dietetic Association) that can be used in a range of health and care setting to promote undernutrition awareness and training. They have one specifically for care homes.
From Wessex AHSN
This video is a great reminder of why hydration is so important and how easy it is for an older person to get dehydrated. It also offers simple steps where carers can provide support.
Good practice guide - care homes and COVID-19
British Geriatrics Society
The COVID-19 pandemic raises particular challenges for care home residents, their families and the staff that look after them. This guidance has been developed to help care home staff and NHS staff who work with them to support residents through the pandemic. Find out more.
My Home Life
City, University of London
A UK-wide initative, My Home Life, delivers postive change in care homes for older peolple. This leaflet is full of ideas on how to make the most of meal times in care homes and offers top tips for care home managers.
COVID19 Training for Care Homes
The Infection Prevention Society have developed this simple set of training slides on managing infection prevention and control for COVID19 in care homes. Download the training here.
Dysphagia Guide e-learning resource
Health Education England has worked in partnership with industry experts and care home staff to develop the Dysphagia Guide e-learning resource for those working with people living with dysphagia. The resource is helpful for those working in health and care , informal carers and people with dysphagia themselves.
The resource can be used to support people working in care to gain the relevant level of competency for their role as laid out in the Eating, Drinking and Swallowing Competency Framework.
The PaperWeight Armband
The PaperWeight Armband is a non-medical, non-intrusive tool to identify a person who might be at risk of malnutrition and signpost them to accessible information and advice.
Find out more here.
Improving nutrition and hydration in older people with dementia in care homes
You should read this article:
To understand the importance of optimal nutritional care in care home residents with dementia
To explore person-centred interventions to improve the food and drink intake of older people with dementia
To contribute towards revalidation as part of your 35 hours of CPD (UK readers)
To contribute towards your professional development and local registration renewal requirements (non-UK readers)