Call for action: Hydration for older people

‘More than 1,000 care home residents have died of thirst or while suffering severe dehydration over the past decade’ reports The Daily Telegraph. The article also mentions that the figure could be higher if care home residents who die in hospital are included. The figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act are the result of an analysis of death certificates by the Office of National Statistics. The article highlights the outcry by various charities for improvements in hydration for older people, and demands action by policy makers and the regulator.

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Update on the Malnutrition Task Force

Back in March 2013 I wrote a blog about the need for good nutritional care as people age.  Whilst awareness of malnutrition in older age has increased in the last decade there is still much work to be done to address what is a preventable and treatable condition.  In simple terms it is not normal to get thinner as we age and there is much that can be done in adulthood and for older people specifically to raise awareness and understanding and ensure that people get the screening and treatment they need. Continue reading

Nutrition: Showing we Care

Recently the focus in the news regarding older people and health has been on the scandal of poor care both in hospitals (for example the issues highlighted in the Francis Report) and in the community, and the significant damage that our lack of focus on basic care has created. One story where an older lady in Banstead, Surrey was left alone with no home care for nine days as her care agency had been shut down for employing illegal immigrants was particularly sickening. She was found severely dehydrated, malnourished and barely alive having been entirely reliant on carers for all her basic needs. She later died in hospital. How is that caring? Continue reading

Caring about nutrition

This week Carers UK published its report on Malnutrition and Caring. When malnutrition is discussed it usually in terms of the individual, health and social care resources and the preventable and unnecessary burden it presents to all. The vital role of carers is often overlooked and those caring for a relative or friend are often responsible for the majority of aspects of that person’s life, including their diet and nutrition, adding an additional aspect of responsibility to their role. Continue reading

Nutrition and Hydration week

January 23rd-27th marks the National Patient Safety Agency’s (NPSA) Nutrition and Hydration week. The week aims to ‘reinforce and focus energy, activity and engagement on nutrition and hydration as part of patient safety improvement’.

As is often the case poor nutrition and hydration has once again hit the headlines this week, but unfortunately not to support the NPSA’s excellent campaign. Continue reading