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. A message which is of great importance in the world of care.
Being well-nourished and hydrated contributes significantly to someone’s overall physical and mental wellbeing, and the risk of malnutrition and dehydration only increases as we get older, as do the consequences. So it’s an important topic in care of all shapes and sizes and something that every care service or provider should bear in mind.
Here are 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; minimising the risks of serious health problems, encouraging good health and making it easier to provide a more personalised service.
1. Monitor and report fluid intake
Maintaining good hydration is incredibly 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 a number of individual factors including;
- Body weight
- Level of physical activity
- 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, furthering to support care teams and help them work smarter, not harder, to provide those in their care with the hydration they need.
Reports can also be generated using data collected over longer periods of time, to help care teams identify if there has been a reduction in fluid intake, and therefore investigate the reasons as to why this might be and flag any potential issues with those they support.
This functionality can also 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.
2. 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. Our software features remove the need to try and remember what was eaten and when it was eaten as this information 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 specific meal was provided from a drop-down list rather than making them have to 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 any assistance. All of this information is reportable in a graph format, so that again, trends can be tracked and any issues can be raised.
Finally, food preferences, dietary requirements and allergy information is clearly visible to ensure the correct type of meal is given and there are never any mistakes, another way our systems are designed to help carers provide the highest quality of care possible.
3. Complete and analyse MUST scores
Our elderly population is particularly at risk of malnutrition as the ability to chew and swallow can decrease with natural ageing, health changes and 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 care system, carers can record MUST scores using the BAPEN scale in just three clicks of a button, all previous or historical numerical data is pulled through from previous scores, migrating the information to eliminate the need for manual calculation and reduce 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 quickly and easily that compare previous records within an unlimited time frame, allowing for the identification of any decline or improvement as well as trends and insights based on this.
More than just nutrition and hydration management
With fluid intake, meal preferences and consumption, and MUST scores all recorded/stored in one place and instantly available, updating nutrition and hydration care plans has never been easier or more effective.
To find out how our care software for real-time care planning, as well as our daily notes can enhance the amount of information you can record and help to improve your quality of care, get in touch to book a demo with the team.