Laughter is brighter where food is best!
“Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what’s for lunch.”
― Orson Welles
There is no question that food plays a very important part in all our lives. Food and drink are also central to having happy residents in a happy home which is why Rusthall Lodge Care Home takes great pride in the nutritional food it serves daily to its residents.
Our team of experienced chefs ensure the food tastes good, looks presentable, has locally sourced ingredients and reflects the individual likes, dislikes and dietary requirements of our residents.
Tasty and fresh
Our policy at Rusthall Lodge is to make sure each main meal is nutritionally balanced and made from fresh, and where possible, local ingredients. Whether this is a humble Shepherd’s Pie or a dish that’s slightly more exotic, the same care and attention is afforded it before it’s served fresh on a plate.
Wine is available with meals and tea, coffee, juices and other soft drinks are always available throughout the home daily.
Afternoon tea is a firm favourite with our residents with freshly made cakes served on both floors.
For any resident who experiences difficulties in swallowing food, we modify the menu of the day so that it’s a soft, palatable dish. Care and attention are also paid to ensuring it’s the right consistency, still has great taste and is presented in an attractive manner.
Our dedicated care staff can then assist people should they require it in a sympathetic and respectful way, ensuring each resident is able to enjoy their own, private dining experience.
All about the individual
Here at Rusthall Lodge there is always a choice of menu options at each meal, with at least two choices of main course.
Our teams know that as a person ages, their appetite doesn’t always conform to the clock, so although main meals are served at certain times, residents can always eat at a time that suits them.
With regular food forums held at the home between residents and catering teams, changes to menus and subtle changes to how things are cooked can be discussed in a very open way. The care home is someone’s home after all; so, we should always respect them and their opinions.
Risk of malnutrition
Every one of us could at some stage become malnourished. This essentially means that an individual’s diet doesn’t contain the right balance of nutrients for someone to function properly.
There are many symptoms of malnourishment:
- Muscle weakness
- Feeling tired all the time
- Increased infections
- Increased accidents or falls
- Lack of energy
- Gaining weight
- Changes in behaviour
- Poor wound healing
Malnutrition is a major concern for all care home staff as it can often happen gradually, e.g. weight loss happening over time can go unnoticed which is why our nursing and care staff carefully monitor our residents’ weight to ensure this slippery path is ventured down.
There are of course many occasions when care home residents live with what’s called ‘co-morbidities’, i.e. they have more than one medical condition, e.g. diabetes, asthma and high blood pressure. Should a resident become malnourished, this could have a knock-on effect on all the conditions they are dealing with which ultimately will have an overall negative effect on their wellbeing.
Risk of dehydration
As we age, physiological changes occur which puts us at greater risk of dehydration. These risks are sometimes exacerbated by changes to mental capacity and physical frailty leaving us incredibly vulnerable to the consequences of not drinking enough fluid.
These changes include having a reduced sensitivity to being thirsty for instance. Our brain doesn’t register the fact that we need to drink. Even as adults without any frailties, when you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated. The Eatwell Guide recommends 6-8 cups or glasses of water a day. Do you do that?
There are many signs of dehydration:
- A dry mouth
- Sunken eyes
- Skin that's lost its elasticity
- Disorientation or confusion
- Low blood pressure
- Feeling dizzy
One or more of these signs may be shown, along with reduced urine output.
Again, here at Rusthall Lodge, the fluid intake of all our residents is closely monitored as is the output. This is all done via a fluid chart on our electronic care planning system.
Not only will this indicate how much fluid is being drunk in a 24-hour period, but you can also monitor any other urinary problems.
Whichever care home you choose for yourself or for a loved one, ask them whether you could try a meal with the residents one day. This way, you’ll get the chance to taste what’s on offer and talk to the residents who eat there every day because laughter is brighter where food is best!
Looking for a care home for you, or a loved one, to Live Your Life?
Call 01892 556 500 to arrange a visit to Rusthall Lodge Care Home
Serving Rusthall, Langton Green, Tunbridge Wells and the surrounding areas in Kent and Sussex
Residential care, Nursing care, Respite care
Written on 5th April 2019