Food and drink high on the agenda at Pinehurst Care Centre
Nutrition and Hydration Week, 16-22 March 2015
Whilst you might consider malnutrition and dehydration to be problems associated with Third World countries, a Crowthorne care home is joining a national campaign next week to highlight how these two easily-avoided conditions can affect older people living in the UK.
Pinehurst Care Centre, on Duke’s Ride in Crowthorne, is joining Nutrition and Hydration Week with a series of events and workshops for residents and families throughout the week, highlighting the importance of a good balanced diet and plenty of drinks.
“Research from the United States shows that the total body water content of a 75-80 year old person is nearly 50% less than in a young person, affecting women more than men, so even small changes in fluid intake can hugely affect health,” comments centre manager, Lynne Cotterell. “Older people sometimes choose to reduce how much they drink so that they have fewer toilet visits, or may have medication which can contribute to dehydration, and with age, the ‘thirst’ reflex can often not function as well, so it is easy to become severely dehydrated relatively quickly.”
The effects of dehydration can also mask – or be masked by – other conditions. “Confusion and weakness are common first symptoms of severe dehydration, but this could easily be misinterpreted as simply signs of old age, or dementia symptoms,” explains Lynne. “Dehydration leads to a compromised immune system, too, so it is absolutely crucial that we use our expert knowledge as carers to help others understand this widely ignored issue, which is so simple to prevent.”
The residents are taking part in a number of fun food-themed events at their home throughout the week that highlight the importance of eating and drinking well, including:
- Monday 16 - cake decorating
- Tuesday 17 - St Patrick’s Day party
- Wednesday 18 - Worldwide Afternoon Tea, an international event
- Thursday 19 – ‘Come dine with me’, when staff and residents will dine together
- Friday 20 - Fun Fruit Friday with different fruit smoothies and juices
Pinehurst Care Centre is located on Duke’s Ride in Crowthorne, Berkshire, with 47 bedrooms offering a friendly, family environment for persons over 65 with a range of needs including dementia, from respite and post-operative care to crisis intervention and emergency admissions. Pinehurst is part of the Forest Healthcare group of homes, which includes 13 individual homes throughout the South East of England. For more information on Pinehurst, please visit www.foresthc.com or call 01344 774233.
Doreen Burdett (L) and Marjorie Comm (R) enjoying a glass of water and a light snack at Pinehurst Care Centre as they prepare for Nutrition & Hydration Week 2015.
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