It’s not just about food and drink

Date: 03 March 2017

During Nutrition and Hydration Week (March 13-19) patients and healthcare professionals in Bromley are asked to support the campaign to reduce malnutrition and dehydration across their localities.

In the UK at any one time, there are an estimated three million malnourished people, with many more at risk. Around one in three people admitted to hospital or care homes in the UK are found to be malnourished or at risk of malnourishment.

Malnutrition is caused by having an inadequate diet or a problem absorbing nutrients from food. To aid identification of the condition, carers can look out for common signs which include:

  • unexplained weight loss
  • feeling tired all the time and lacking energy
  • frequent and long-lasting infections 
  • delayed wound healing 
  • poor concentration
  • difficulty keeping warm
  • depression.

There are many reasons why generally healthy people can become malnourished, including reduced mobility or dexterity, poor dental health, or financial difficulties. Some health conditions or treatments can cause problems with the mouth or with swallowing, which can affect eating and, even, drinking – adding the risk of dehydration.

To encourage people to eat and drink:

  • Encourage the person to eat and drink with others
  • Use a favourite cup and plate
  • Take smaller meals and drinks more often
  • Try different drinks including nutritional supplements
  • Try different foods, particularly those that contain fluids, eg fruit and vegetables, soup, breakfast cereal with milk, yogurt, jelly, ice-cream and sauces.

If dry mouth is a problem, the following may also help: suck on ice; use mouth moisturising gels, chew sugar free gum and high fluoride toothpaste; and clean the mouth frequently.

Community pharmacies in Bromley can provide advice and treatments to support good oral health, and resources such as NHS Choices or Health Help Now website and app, can help local residents to identify and access any further help they need.

Nutrition and Hydration Week is a collaboration between the Hospital Caterers AssociationNational Association of Care Catering and Patient Safety Domain NHS England. All healthcare service providers can support the campaign by using the campaign resources provided.

Click here for more information.

  • Summary:

    During Nutrition and Hydration Week patients and healthcare professionals are asked to support the campaign to reduce malnutrition and dehydration across Bromley

NHS Bromley CCG, Global House, 10 Station Approach, Bromley, BR2 7EH

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