Care Home Digest

The Food Services Specialist Group and Older People Specialist Group of the BDA are proud to have worked with the National Association of Care Catering to develop the first menu planning and food service guidelines for care homes for older adults, to support residential and nursing care homes to provide high quality food and drink services for residents in their care.

The guidelines provide information and tools that care home managers, nursing staff, carers and catering teams can use to understand how to ensure that menus meet residents’ nutritional needs, together with guidance about how food service delivery can both enhance mealtime experience for residents and support them to meet their nutritional needs.

The full, printable PDF version is available here

Download the guidance here

The BDA has for some time produced the Nutrition and Hydration Digest, a resource for all involved in the provision of food and drink services in hospitals which is part of the National Standards for Healthcare Food and Drink. This means that all NHS Trusts in England must comply with the nutrition standards outlined in it as part of their legally binding NHS standard contract.

Until now, no similar national food service standards have existed to support care homes for older adults to meet the nutritional needs of their residents. We are therefore delighted to launch this Care Home ‘Digest’ which provides similar standards to support care homes for older adults.

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Food is an important aspect of quality of life for many older adult care home residents. Mealtimes may be the highlight of many resident’s days and something they look forward to in their daily routine.

Food can enable residents to express who they are and what is important to them, and food service can enable residents to connect with each other as well as with carers and family members.

It is often during religious and culturally significant days that the central role and importance of food to who we are as people can be seen most clearly.

The information and checklists are intended to support care homes to review their services to understand what they are already doing well and where improvements could be considered and made.

We hope these guidelines will be widely used and become a nationally trusted resource for information about food service and menu planning in care homes for older adults across the UK.

The full, printable PDF version is available here

Download the guidance here