Care catering industry must take responsibility says NACC

NACC launch new information sheets to help elderly people get the care they deserve

Hot on the heels of a report which revealed the shocking numbers of elderly people who die in care homes as a result of dehydration and malnutrition, the NACC has today issued new guidelines, enabling those who work in the care industry to tackle these issues head on.

In order to arm those working in the industry with everything they need to spot the symptoms of both malnutrition and dehydration, the NACC has been working with Local Authorities to develop a new information sheet helping those who work in the care catering sector spot the signs before it’s too late.

The new advice will be issued through their members, and is available to all staff working in the sector via the website and will include a variety of important guidance, covering topics such as:

  • What is malnutrition?
  • Who is at high risk of malnutrition?
  • Spotting the signs and symptoms
  • How to improve access to food
  • What is dehydration?
  • Who is at high risk of dehydration?
  • Spotting the signs of dehydration
  • What to do if you are concerned

Derek Johnson, NACC Chairman, said: “Many older people have to rely on those working in our industry to provide proper care and we must make sure everyone strives to provide them with the care they deserve. We hope they will act as a checklist, enabling all those working in the sector to spot the warning signs of malnutrition and/or dehydration in older people at the earliest opportunity. ”

Up to 40% of elderly people arrive at hospitals and care homes already malnourished often due to lack of awareness of malnutrition, difficult referral processes, reduced day care provision and lack of investment made in community meals services. Investing in the care catering sector rather than cutting these services will actually help save money in the long term and reduce the number of elderly people transferred to hospitals and care homes.

A recent report published by the NACC (‘Personalisation, Nutrition and the Role of Community Meals’ (www.ilcuk.org.uk) identified those working in the care catering sector as being in an ideal position to monitor the health of older people and encourage them to eat well, lowering the risk of malnutrition. Regular delivery of meals to the home is key to ensuring older people have regular contact with others.

The new leaflet is available from www.thenacc.co.uk. For more information or to get a copy please contact the NACC (www.thenacc.co.uk) on 08707480180.

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