The key role of any care home setting is to provide healthy menu options to its residents. With residents having a range of dietary needs and specific health concerns, meal planning can be a little challenging for the caregivers. While proper nutrition is vital for every age and gender, maintaining a healthy meal plan for residents coping with chronic conditions can be complicated.
As a caregiver, you should ensure that residents have meals that fulfil their nutritional needs as per their age, gender and medical condition.
Here are a few meal planning tips for caregivers:
- Make a list: Plan the menu for the coming week or month. You can also download meal planning templates and use them to plan for the whole week.
- Assess the needs of the residents: As a caregiver, keep a close check on all the food preferences, food restrictions and food allergies of the residents. Assess the residents’ need for vitamins, minerals and proteins in their diet. Consult a registered dietician to ensure the menu is nutritionally balanced.
- Add new dishes to the menu: Eating the same food can make mealtimes dull for residents. Make their taste buds excited by adding new, healthy dishes to the menu. For instance, a new salad can make lunch a bit more interesting.
- Keep healthy snacks handy: As fruits have plenty of water and vitamins, they are the best way to start off a resident’s day. Keep fresh fruits in places that are easy to access.
- Make sure the residents are hydrated: Staying hydrated is important. Ensure residents drink sufficient water in between their meals. This helps in building their appetite. The residents should be limited from drinking too much at a meal, as it can replace vital nutrients from dense foods.
- Serve foods with high water content: Consider serving food with high water content to the residents. For instance, fruits such as watermelons, strawberries and peaches, are water-rich. These fruits are easy to chew. For individual concerns, you must seek a doctor’s recommendation.
How to ensure person-centered care?
In addition to meal planning, as a caregiver you have other important responsibilities – one of them is medication administration. As a caregiver, you must take steps to reduce the risk of medication errors by ensuring that the right medication is administered to the right patient at the right time.
Note: By following the 8Rs of medication administration, you can reduce the chances of medication errors.
The 8Rs of medication administration are:
- Right patient
- Right medication
- Right dose
- Right route
- Right time
- Right documentation
- Right response
- Right to refuse
To reduce medication errors, shift from paper-based MAR charts to eMAR
Accessing information on paper-based MAR charts is not just time-consuming but also prone to errors due to illegible handwriting and overwriting. Many care homes in the UK have shifted to eMAR nursing charts. The electronic version of the charts reduces the paperwork. These electronic charts give easy access to all medical information of residents.
Know more about eMAR and eMAR training
Know the benefits of implementing eMAR here. We provide eMAR chart training to caregivers and others involved in caregiving. Should you decide to proceed, all training and setup can also be implemented remotely for you. Book a demo today