We wash our hands with soap to kill germs and bacteria. However, if you are currently using bulk fill or refillable soap dispensers, did you know that they are a breeding ground for bacteria and they can leave hands with 25 times more bacteria after washing?
The Centre for Disease Control and Infection (CDC) warns – Do not add soap to a partially empty soap dispenser, this practice of topping off dispensers can lead to bacterial contamination of soap.
Here at Hcsuk, our aim is always to promote and advise on best practice for care homes and fit for purpose product solutions to enable, our care home customers, to meet the regulatory requirements and to help them to improve their standards.
June is Dysphagia Awareness month, so I want to ask you this question:
If you have ladies and gents in your care who are on pureed diets, how do their pureed meals shape up?
About three years ago some customers came to me and asked me:
"How can you help us to improve the presentation of our pureed meals?"
They were very conscious that they were pureeing down different components of meals, such as potatoes, fish and vegetables, and serving them all up in one bowl to their residents, which actually looked pretty disgusting, not very appetising not very visually appealing, didn't smell very nice and actually didn't taste very nice either.
And they really wanted to find ways to improve the presentation of these meals for their ladies and gents, and we really wanted to help them!
So we set about finding a solution to this challenge and I'm really proud to say that we were the first healthcare company in the UK to market a range of food moulds designed to enable care caterers to effectively recreate the shape of pureed food.
With 12 moulds available in the range of different meats and vegetables, including sausage, sliced meat and stewed steak, as well as pumpkin, broccoli and carrots, there is much scope to use your imagination to create a better variety of delicious looking and tasting pureed meals.
And your ladies and gents who are on pureed diets, can be given meals which don’t look any different to anybody else's so they do not feel isolated or singled out.
We all know that we eat with our eyes first, and that if we see food that looks appetizing we're more likely to eat it, and we eat better.
So, I repeat my question to you:
How are YOUR pureed meals shaping up for your ladies and gents?
Over the past 3 years we've been helping literally hundreds of members of the public, care homes and hospitals all over the country as well as in Ireland and Portugal, to improve the presentation of their pureed meals, by providing them with our range of silicone food moulds.
And, what was really lovely was when we received this particular testimonial back from a lady whose daughter has a diagnosis of Down syndrome, oral dysphagia, autism, sensory processing disorder and also food intolerances.
This lady bought some of our food moulds to help with her daughter‘s nutrition, and this is what she said about the difference they had made to her daughter’s mealtimes:
‘ I've only been able to give my daughter pureed or mash foods which she was not particularly interested in previously. She is assisted while eating and the first time she saw her food moulded dinner she shouted ‘carrots!’
The second time she wanted to know what every bit of food was on her plate, this time I had used parsnips in the carrot mould, what's that what's that? she said as SHE used a fork to scoop up individual pieces of dinner into her mouth with glee. But what's most important to me is that my daughter is beginning to enjoy mealtimes and showing greater independence all because her food is now moulded to look like it should.’
We have had so many positive comments about the effect that being able to provide meals for residents who are on pureed diets and make them look like they should, it's much more dignified for the residents, and actually does lead to increased nutritional intake:
Another customer told us:
‘The food moulds have been a revelation in our home for residents on a pureed diet. Nobody ever wants to be on a pureed diet but with these food moulds we can restore the dignity in eating by giving a well-balanced meal for puree diets in an appetizing and visually stimulating way. Many visitors to our home have no idea that meals are pureed for some residents.’
So this is really really important, and as in everything we do, we aim to help care homes to improve their standards, to also improve the health and well-being of the ladies and gents they support. I would highly recommend that if you don't currently mould your pureed meals, please have a look and see what can be achieved, because, I guarantee that it will make a massive difference in the lives of the ladies and gents that you support.
We're very proud to be part of a local and important event happening this week. Nottingham Post will be announcing their Carer of The Year Awards on Thursday at the Crown Plaza and we will be there as we have sponsored the Special Recognition Award category.
We are thrilled to a part of this important event that recognises the hard work of our carers and those in the care industry. We'll bring you more on the event day itself!!
Photographer Angela Ward Nottingham Post Carer of the year Awards 2016 winners
hcsuk.co.uk is the website of HCS, trading as Health Care Services, 1 Meadowbank Court, Meadowbank Way, Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, NG16 3SL, UK. Company Registration Number 2359628, VAT number 509 3981 23