A study commissioned by Age UK and produced by the Malnutrition Taskforce has found that only half of UK health professionals believe that malnutrition in the elderly should be considered a priority in their care environments. Of the people surveyed, only 47% felt confident dealing with nutrition in a care environment, such as a residential care home.
In the UK, around 1.3 million older people suffer from malnutrition, which shows that there is a serious problem when it comes to nutrition in old age. The study also highlighted that around 93% of the seniors at risk of malnutrition live alone within the community, with this figure only set to worsen as the UK’s population ages.
The good news is that while nutritional neglect in old age is a serious problem, it is important to remember is that there are solutions to the problem, one of which is having 24-hour live in care. If you have an elderly relative who is over 65 and lives alone, then you might be concerned about their nutrition. However, if you opt to invest in a 24-hour live in care option, you can make this concern a thing of the past.
Wondering how having a live-in carer can help ensure that nutritional neglect is not a problem for your ageing relative? Read further!
The first step that most live-in carers will perform when working with a new family is performing an assessment of your elderly relative’s needs when it comes to various aspects of their health and wellbeing, including their diet. This is important, because when it comes to providing high-quality care, nutrition is an aspect that is taken extremely seriously.
The great thing about having a personalised assessment of needs performed, is that the carer can see where any issues with nutrition lie. In some instances health conditions are the cause of nutritional problems, such as Alzheimer’s disease which can make swallowing certain foods a little tricky. When this is the case, it’s important that carers are able to address this specific issue and find a way to ensure that the person still gets plenty to eat.
One-to-one care is another bonus of having a live-in carer. When a person is in residential care, the care team has lots of different people to take care of. This can mean that the care received lacks quality in some instances, as well as consistency.
When it comes to nutrition, this can be a serious problem because it can mean that there is not enough time focused on ensuring that each resident gets enough to eat and that their food is delivering the right nutritional value.
Many people find it hard to eat properly in environments that make them uncomfortable. For many care home residents, it can be stressful eating in a room surrounded by other people. The noise and bustle can make it difficult for them to eat properly and can have an impact on nutrition. Whereas, when they are eating at home, in the place where they feel comfortable, this should not be an issue