“Nutrition Professionals Australia - Solutions for a Healthy Life”

COVID-19 - The Silent Nutrition Challenges- Part 1 of 2

Is your aged care home and food service prepared for a Covid-19 infection?

What do you need to consider with food services in case of a lockdown?

Each home or organisation will need to act slightly differently depending on their own policies, practices, the demands on resources and how the food service to residents is structured. Infection control strategies and Department of Health advice is paramount.

Currently aged care homes have implemented social distancing in a variety of ways. Group activities have been cancelled with many residents confined to their rooms for the day. This includes receiving meals on a tray and having limited interaction with anyone other than the nursing and care staff. Other homes have placed one resident to a table for meals and even implemented a staggered meal service.

Ultimately, aged care residents have been isolated from each other and have very little, if any interaction with their family. Unless addressed carefully, this is likely to have a huge impact on their food intake as we know loneliness impacts on appetite and nutritional status.

In aged care there are 2 nutrition challenges to consider:

  • The impact of loneliness on nutritional status and weight loss
  • In the event of a Covid 19 outbreak either amongst staff and/or residents

The impact of loneliness on residents needs to be closely monitored.

NPA recommends

  • Weigh residents more frequently,
  • Where possible connect with family via phone or an app in particular at meal times,
  • Know your residents favourite food and offer more frequently,
  • Schedule more staff at mealtimes to assist residents with their meals and
  • Create a food and nutrition monitoring team to improve communication within the care and food services 

Contact us  to arrange a free, no obligation 15-minute aged care nutrition check!

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