Leading South London residential care home Nightingale House has embarked on a week-long programme of activities to mark the global Nutrition and Hydration Week. The leading care home for members of London’s Jewish community is setting the tone for other care homes, hospitals and care facilities, with a series of innovative and educational sessions to promote the importance of good nutrition and hydration.
The aim of Nutrition and Hydration week is to focus energy, activity and engagement in promoting nutrition & hydration as an integral part of residents’ lives. The week’s activities form part of Nightingale Hammerson’s wider “Nutrition and Hydration Advocates” work, a forum made up of carers and nurses who meet regularly to share ideas about different ways of encouraging better nutrition for residents. Each specialist unit in Nightingale House has dedicated one day to celebrate with residents, staff, volunteers and relatives, with a series of creative activities promoting the importance of good nutrition, including ‘Cirque Du Fruit’ and ‘Smoothie afternoon’. Children from on-site nursery, Apples and Honey Nightingale, will join the activities as they learn to interact with the healthy foods alongside Nightingale House residents, as part of their daily intergenerational activities programme.
The programme culminated in a Nutrition and Hydration Fair, with a multidisciplinary team working together to promote the importance of good nutrition and hydration. Staff from Nightingale House as well as health professionals and Community Dieticians from St. Georges Hospital and Dysphagia representatives from Nestle Health Science UK delivered specialist sessions on topics such as ‘Swallowing Awareness’ and ‘Tissue Viability’. Interactive activities allowed residents to blend their own smoothie.
Reflecting on the initiative, Tiffany Barron Gutierrez, Dietetic Assistant Practitioner, Nightingale Hammerson, said: “Nightingale House’s Nutrition and Hydration Week programme is part of our commitment to promoting the holistic wellbeing of our residents. Good nutrition and hydration is integral to care of older people, and mealtimes are also a great way to promote positive social interaction and companionship for our residents. Many of our residents can lose their appetite and sense of thirst, as a natural result of the ageing process, which can cause acute conditions. Programmes such as these are vital to engage our residents in taking care of their nutritional needs, as well as being educational.”