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Dignity in care: Nutrition for older people in care homes

This film highlights the role of good nutritional care and hydration for older people living in residential care homes. The film promotes the use of the Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool (MUST) in identifying those at risk of malnutrition through a simple body mass index calculation. Where height and weight are difficult to measure, the tool suggests alternatives.

Food and meal times can be very important to older people. By listening to what older people want to eat and preparing fresh food, the meal time experience can be enhanced. The benefits of good hydration are also highlighted.

Messages for practice

  • Food and meal times are a high priority for older people and affect their quality of life.
  • Malnutrition affects over 10 per cent of older people.
  • Routine screening should be carried out to identify those at risk of malnutrition and action should be taken to ensure those at risk receive the right support.
  • Giving older people the time, help and encouragement they need to eat can help.

Who will find it useful?

Commissioners, managers of home care services, frontline care workers and unpaid carers.