Food and nutrition is one of the top factors family and friends consider when a choosing a care home for loved one, according to Bidvest Foodservice research.
The survey, which was commissioned to mark Food and Nutrition Week in March, found 70% would recommend a care home based on nutritional policy.
Vicky Mogford, healthcare marketing manager at Bidvest Foodservice, commented: “Recent studies found that upon entry to a care home, 35% of residents are at risk of malnutrition. Diminishing appetite, digestive problems, difficulty swallowing and even specific conditions such as dementia or Alzheimer’s can all contribute to poor nutritional intake among elderly diners.
“With an ageing population, and an ever-more nutritionally aware society, ensuring loved ones are looked after in terms of food provision can have a real impact on care home choice, quality of life for residents and the organisation’s reputation. We hope our new research will help raise awareness of the issues in line with Nutrition and Hydration Week’s global initiative.”
The survey found that 85% of respondents felt the food offered at a care home was important.
Just under half (44%) said an organisation’s nutrition policy was a key part of their decision making process, behind only location and travel time.
Factors such as quality of food, ability to cater for special dietary requirements and the idea of a home-cooked meal, were all highlighted as elements that contribute to a more positive living environment.
For more information on how to ensure residents receive the right nutrition and hydration, consult Bidvest Foodservice’s care sector catering guide. To access the guide, visit www.bidvest.co.uk/care-homes.