Kerrymaid were delighted to once again be on of the sponsors at the Care Home Catering Forum, an event dedicated to catering in care homes, with an emphasis on nutrition and the well-being of resident

The forum has seen great success and this is the third year we were back in the beautiful Haberdasher’s Hall. The topic of this year’s forum was ‘Eat Well, Age Well,’ with a range of expert speakers delivering talks on the links between good nutrition, hydration and good health in later life with diet crucial not only to physical health but mental well-being too.

There was a range of themes covered throughout the day. Julie Slevin, Development Officer at Think Kidneys Programme gave an interesting talk on an important topic in the care home sector: hydration. Nutrition is key but it’s also understood that ensuring residents are hydrated is equally as important and has a big factor on their physical and emotional well-being. The talk focused on raising awareness of hydration in the care home environment and highlighted ways staff could help residents to avoid Acute Kidney Injury, which you can read more about here: https://www.thinkkidneys.nhs.uk/

It wasn’t just about the food and drinks themselves but wider topics, including the interesting talk by Steve Reynolds titled “Mmmm – Making Mealtimes More Meaningful” – an acronym we’re sure to remember! Steve discussed the importance of meal times as an event itself and the steps that staff can take to enhance mealtimes for residents, including those with dementia. For example, dementia sufferers can have difficulties with their sight and perception; so lightly coloured plates can be a great help at mealtimes. White is often one of the first colours affected by memory loss so using a blue plate, for example, in place of white, can have a positive effect.

Amongst these thought-provoking topics, one of the most impactful discussion of the day was the interactive session by Joanne Rose of the Alzheimer’s Society, whose discussion focused on how to be ‘a dementia friend’, providing tips for turning a greater understanding of dementia into lasting actions that make a big difference to people living with the condition. You can find out more about the Alzheimer’s Society and the great work they do here: https://www.dementiafriends.org.uk/

Dementia was a big topic throughout the day and there were a whole host of fantastic ideas about how to make care home life comfortable for residents affected by the condition. Check out the resources of our speakers and we look forward to the next Care Home Catering Forum, due to take place in November.