For many people living with Dementia, the arrival of Covid19 has been disruptive to both routine as well as social life. For Dementia suffers this could not come at a worse time and restricts the all important family and social interaction they so need.
Within the age care environment, much of the socialising happens around the dinning table. So now more than ever, the dinning experience both within Aged Care facilities and at home is crucial to residents well being and their health. In fact, the dinning experience combined with a nutritious, well-balanced meal offering, is a great way to lift spirits. Not to mention engaging dementia suffers in a social activities.
Aged Care residents will spend 45% of their day dining and talking around the table. It is here that the topic of conversation often turns to the food on offer. A delicious and nutritious meal can be a real highlight. So a pleasant dining experience makes a huge difference in the residents day.
Setting up a dining experience
It’s not difficult to create a comfortable dining experience and worth considering how and where to prepare the location.
Keeping the dining area calm and relaxing is paramount. Noisy or busy areas with walk through traffic and loud T.V’s may cause discomfort and anxiety. This may affect the residents appetite. A location free of interruptions and distractions makes for a pleasant diner setting. Thus allowing the residents a more intimate experience.
Communicating within the dining area should be easy. Residents with limited hearing will struggle to take part in conversion, if there is too much background noise. Where space is in short supply, even an area partitioned by a curtain can help reduce unwanted din.
For many dementia suffers, a familiar position might also help reduce anxiety. So consider regular seating for meals and dining events. Allow the resident to make their way to a regular seating position if possible.
Avoid complications with both Crockery and Cutlery. The appropriate crockery should be within easy reach and easy to see. The table setting and the crockery should be contrasting colours and as close to plain in its decoration as possible. Residents with poor eye-sight, can become anxious if they cannot distinguish items on their plate. Therefore over decorated crockery can be problematic.
Where the resident also suffers a loss of strength in arms and hands, Adaptive Cutlery will also assist them in eating without help. Issues with motor skills can cause frustration when trying to eat. But it is important that they feel enabled to serve themselves, where possible. This of course boosts confidence and instills a sense of dignity at the table.
Of course, the task of creating nutritious meals for Dementia suffers often falls upon the Aged Care Workers and family members alike. Sourcing healthy ingredients suitable for the elderly or Dementia suffers, takes time and effort. Add to this having to orchestrate a dinning experience and family members or Care workers have their work cut out.
Carers will often modify the food to suit dysphagia and other eating disorders. In some cases meals need to be pureed in order for the resident to consume the meal. As such, it is crucial that Fruit and Vegetable be fresh, to keep its nutritional elements.
Many Fruits and Vegetables offer a great source of Vitamins. Potassium, Magnesium as well as anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties are important. Many Fruits and Vegetables also allow for easy preparation in comparison to meat offerings. A simple presentation on the plate will also aid the resident in identifying items in front of them.
The nutritional needs of Dementia Suffers cannot be overlooked. Foods that are rich in nutritious ingredients, provide patients with the nourishment they need.
Texture Modified Ready Meals.
Thankfully families and care workers now have the option of SOURCING AND serving Texture Modified Ready Meals, specifically prepared for Dementia Suffers and Aged Care residents. The Ezy Foods Ready Meal range is tasty, carefully balanced and nutritious. It is sure to improve the dinning experience for Dysphagia and Dementia suffers. Suddenly an exciting meal experience is achievable and a welcome focal point around the dining table.
With the help of Ezy Foods, families and Aged Care Workers across Australia can now plan and execute exciting dining experiences, meeting the individual requirements of their loved ones and residents. As all Aged Care Workers know, a relaxed and enjoyable environment is key to the well-being of residents. Keeping up a healthy appetite is often difficult, especially in Dementia suffers. So a dignified dining experience only helps in creating a relaxed environment.
Families and Aged Care Workers can contact the Ezy Foods help line to discuss meal plans and arrange deliveries. Our experts are available to discuss ingredients as well as the meals IDDSI ratings. We can also talk carers through the National Disability Insurance Scheme and home care package approval process, as well as how to make a claim on behalf of their family and / or residents.