How Are We Helping to Maintain the Nutrition of Older People?
The struggles that arise with maintaining a healthy diet in older age are well-documented, and can be especially difficult for those living with dementia. But with our wellbeing and social activity centres, and EveryDay Living service, customers can look forward to hearty, healthy, and home-made meals.
In a recent article, Elizabeth Eckstrom, chief of geriatrics at Oregon Health & Science University, noted that;
“A wide variety of factors can impact an older adult’s ability to eat healthfully, [including] conditions such as depression and dementia”.
The Caroline Walker trust produce reports establishing nutritional guidelines for vulnerable groups. They suggest a whole host of reasons that older people, including those living with dementia, might be at nutritional risk;
- Mobility struggles can drastically decrease an individual’s ability to shop for, and cook, food for themselves. This can lead to diets of less variety that are low in essential vitamins, and fewer fresh foods being eaten overall.
- There is some evidence to suggest that people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia are more susceptible to developing various infections. Such people will have a need for especially healthy meals in order to replace nutrients lost whilst battling infection.
- Concerns about paying for fuel to keep warm can mean that some older people are worried about spending money on food and may eat inappropriately (Age UK North Tyneside’s Information and Advice team can help assess any unclaimed benefits you might be entitled to, if this is a worry for you).
How We Help
At our three wellbeing and social activity centres, in Wallsend, Killingworth, and North Shields, nutrition in older people is the top of our agenda. Not only do we incorporate ‘exercise snacking’ throughout the day, but our customers are treated to a nutritious spot of lunch as standard. Additionally, on birthdays, during the festive period, and on other special occasions throughout the year, customers can enjoy seasonal treats such as Christmas dinner, a slice of birthday cake, or a traditional Easter lunch.
Additionally, our EveryDay Living service can offer help with keeping older people healthy at home. Our specialist staff undergo regular training and development and are required to have an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check before they begin working for us, as well as being fully insured. They can help with a wide range of domestic chores, including grocery shopping and meal preparation.
We love receiving feedback from our customers and their caregivers. One recent testimonial demonstrates just how much of a positive impact our delicious food can have;
“My mam absolutely loves coming to Cedar Grove once a week. The staff and volunteers are all so lovely and my mam is made really welcome. She always enjoys the homely food and recounts what she has eaten when I collect her.”
- If you are concerned about fuel payments, Age UK North Tyneside’s Information and Advice team can help assess any unclaimed benefits you might be entitled to. In May, the team celebrated helping 3,074 people in the borough claim a total of £1,178,488 between them.
Article by Summer Dolan (Marketing Intern)