Meal times in a care home are one of the most important parts of a residents day. In addition to the nutritional and hydration aspects of the experience, meal times should be an enriching social engagement, providing residents with further opportunity to socialise with neighbours, visitors and staff.
Providing residents with an enriched experience is crucial to providing outstanding care but can be often overlooked and even seen as a chore or mundane exercise to feed and water.
The need of residents is paramount to a strong dining experience and consideration must be taken for those with dementias, learning difficulties, differing physical abilities and the social dynamics of a group.
The heart of the dining experience should be the meals provided, with focus on varying dietary requirements of all residents. It is therefore the responsibility of the catering staff to ensure a rich and varied diet is offered, utilising seasonal ingredients and taking into consideration the likes and dislikes of the residents. There should be choice at every meal time with a varied menu.
In addition to the physical meal offered to residents, the environment in which service takes place is of equal importance and care staff should be aware of this. For example, ensuring that crockery is safe and undamaged, table covers are clean and free from rips or tears.
With so much to consider at meal times, how can this be monitored and managed effectively ?
B4M Group can carry out a robust dining experience audit that can be delivered to care homes of all size. Our auditor will attend your site and carry out an extensive, unbiased and robust assessment of your facility. Following the audit we will provide you with a detailed action plan, highlighting areas of potential improvement. We can carry this out either as a one-off review or regularly to suit your needs.
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