This week it’s Nutrition and Hydration Week, where people are encouraged to raise awareness of the health benefits of eating enough of the right foods and drinking enough of the right fluids.
Being well-nourished and hydrated contributes significantly to someone’s overall physical and mental wellbeing. However, the risk of malnutrition and dehydration only increases as we get older, as do the consequences, so it’s an important topic in social care.
Here, we’ve shared just three ways that the Nourish digital care management system can help care providers to effectively monitor the food and fluid intake of the people they care for; therefore minimising the risks of serious health problems and encouraging good health.
Monitor and report fluid intake
Maintaining good hydration is important for a number of reasons; not least because it aids digestion and gives people strength, but also because it can significantly minimise hospital admissions in the event of falls for example.
With the Nourish fluid intake tool, care teams can set fluid targets for an individual based on their age, body weight, height, gender, level of physical activity and any recommendations from health professionals. The amount and type of fluid offered and drank can be recorded throughout the day, and total intake will be automatically calculated to show how close to the target an individual is.
To encourage regular fluid intake, checks can be diarised so that care teams will be alerted throughout the day if someone is seen to not be drinking enough because it hasn’t been recorded.
Reports can also be generated using all data collected over longer periods of time to help care teams to identify if there has been a reduction in fluid intake, and therefore investigate the reasons as to why this might be.
This functionality can be replaced by a fluid in and fluid out tool if the passing of urine needs to be recorded, for people who may suffer from fluid retention for example.
Easily record meal preferences and consumption
Care providers who have adopted the Nourish system no longer have to record lengthy and time-consuming written notes on what a service user has eaten throughout the day. This removes the need to try and remember what was eaten and when as it can be recorded at the time the meal was given.
To save even more time, the Nourish system can be configured so that four-week menus are built in, enabling carers to select which meal was provided from a drop-down list rather than type out the details.
Carers are also able to record how much of the meal was eaten, whether the service user enjoyed it and if they required assistance. All of this information is reportable in graph format so that, again, trends can be tracked, and any issues raised.
Finally, food preferences, dietary requirements and allergy information is clearly visible to ensure the correct type of meal is given.
Complete and analyse MUST scores
Our elderly population is particularly at risk of malnutrition as the ability to chew and swallow decreases with poor oral and dental health. As well as ensuring a varied and healthy diet, care teams should use the Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool (MUST) to help establish whether there is a nutritional risk.
Within the Nourish system, carers can record MUST scores using the BAPEN scale in just three clicks of a button. All previous numerical data is pulled through from previous scores, eliminating the need for manual calculation and reducing the risk of human error.
These can be scheduled at regular intervals so that care teams are alerted when MUST assessments are due. Reports can also be generated easily that compare previous records within an unlimited time frame, allowing for the easy identification of any decline or improvement.
More than just nutrition and hydration management
With fluid intake, meal preferences and consumption and MUST scores all recorded and stored in one place and instantly available, updating nutrition and hydration care plans has never been easier.
To find out how our electronic software for real-time care planning and daily notes can enhance the amount of information you can record, leading to improved quality of care, get in touch to book a demo.