Nutrition for Health & Social Care. Healthy eating in a day centre for the elderly.

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        Unit 21: Nutrition for Health & Social Care        D1

Choose a setting such as a residential  home, a day centre or a Sure Start nursery, and make realistic recommendations about how you would compensate for negative influences on diet in that setting.

Day centre for the elderly:

For my previous work placement I was working in a day centre for the elderly people. I observed few cases that took place during my placement. This was such as their eating habit which involved the elderly refusing to eat healthy food that was important for their health and as well as the body to function in order to cope with their daily task. From the first week I could clearly see that the elderly ate dinner in the day centre and had couple of breaks in between to have some snacks. I was also able to see the kind of food that was made in the kitchen. The elderly were given tea, chocolate biscuits and a cake for lunch and for dinner they had their usual sausages with mashed potatoes, but with no vegetables. The elderly didn’t get any water to drink during the day, only when it was tea break or dinner. From this I was able to see how the diet in that setting was not healthy for the elderly because as people grow older, water in the body decreases which in turn can cause elderly people to become very easily dehydrated. They may as well sometimes not even feel thirsty, whilst at other times it may just be too much of a chore to pour themselves a glass of water. It is therefore recommended that they drink at least one ounce of water for every 2.2 pounds of weight.

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Body composition changes as people get older. One of the noteworthy alterations is the reduction in total body protein. A decrease in skeletal muscle is the most noticeable manifestation of this change, but there is also a reduction in other physiologic proteins such as organ tissue, blood components, and immune bodies as well as declines in total body potassium and water. This contributes to impaired wound healing, loss of skin elasticity, and an inability to fight infection. It is therefore important that older people get enough high quality of proteins as the protein in the body is lost daily and ...

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