Nutrition in nursing homes in UK

Recently mum/mom was admitted to a nursing home in Hampshire after a 3-4 week stay in Queen Alexandra’s hospital, Portsmouth. Mum has an advance form of lung cancer and so is in the nursing home for palliative care as there are no treatment options for her. Staying strong as possible is essential when sick I will argue and really there are no arguments against it! Immune system, muscles, brain all rely on good nutrition to function properly, after all we all know the story about the guy who ate at Macdonalds for all his meals and almost died as a result due to very poor health and this is just an example not intended to single out any fast food joint. So in a nursing home it is even more important or maybe critical for end of life patients to receive optimal nutrition and adequate hydration, so why don’t they? Or at least in mom’s case why wasn’t she? Only intervention by family members forced the home to adjust her diet and provide nutritious foods that she is capable of eating and drinking. A nutrition analysis must be conducted I argue for any patient of a nursing home and just providing a roast dinner – meat and 3 veg that requires cutting up, chewing and then digestion is simply not good enough even though you can argue that is a nutritious meal mum simply wasnt capable of eating it. However turn it into delicious soup and make a very small portion size and wow down it could go by the teaspoon or with a straw. Getting enough protein, fats, #micronutrients and sufficient calories is ESSENTIAL for health especially when dying from advanced lung cancer.
A recent report by Nina Teicholz published in the British Journal of Medicine highlights this point, Further, she writes that “nutrition is perhaps one of the most important and neglected of all health disciplines. Those in positions of power have traditionally relegated it to non-medical nutritionists.”
This link will add to the information provided and opens the door to a whole world of nutrition and is worth a read. Bot how do we get to the point where good nutrition is central to health care? For a start everyone entering a nursing home should be offered a nutritionist support and analysis of needs, capability and options for nutritional supplements to truly add to a nursing home diet.

Published by Dai Roberts Triathlon

Health and performance focused professional triathlon and running coach since 2010. Coaching runners since 2001. European AG champion and world championships AG bronze medalist. BEMER specialist and Independent Distributor. Coaching runners and triathletes of all ages from youth to world championships level. I trained under the IRONMAN coaching program alongside the US MASTERS swimming, USA Cycling and USA Track and Field program as well as UK Athletics. Lifelong learning, athlete centered and successful. Retired UK Military after 32 years service.

One thought on “Nutrition in nursing homes in UK

  1. How many times a day do the patients turn their food away out of frustration or the inability to chew/digest it? Only to have the caring staff wait to long to seek an alternative. You are so right to address this and how simple it would be to turn a difficult meal into a simple one with a blender or a broth. I am sorry you have to learn of it this way Dai, but am not surprised in the least that you learned from it and then took action. Bravo and Prayers.


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