Care home malnutrition and dehydration risks exposed

Thousands of elderly people are at risk of malnutrition and dehydration at care homes across the country, according to research carried out by The Independent.

The CQC data analysis revealed hundreds of care homes are not meeting food and nutrition legal requirements.

Lesley Carter, of Age UK, told The Independent: “It’s really very sad, how many people are not getting proper food and they’re choking.

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“It’s quite frightening when we start to unpick the issues. Food and hydration, that’s just fundamental.

“In residential care, there are often a lot of people with dementia and rarely are there skilled staff who can correctly weigh and monitor people.”

The research found 55 of 449 Inadequate elderly people’s homes in 2017 had nutrition and hydration failings.

A Malnutrition Taskforce found that more than a third of people were admitted to care homes because they were malnourished.

Andrea Sutcliffe, the CQC’s chief inspector of adult social care, said “most care homes get it right” and offer appetising meals and support people to eat where needed.

She added: “But too often we see people being failed in this critical aspect of care and support. This failure poses a serious, potentially fatal, threat to people’s health and well-being. That is why our inspectors will always ask about it, share our findings in reports and take action when we see poor practice.”

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