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Food cards to help residents make informed choices

The care arm of contract caterer Elior – has introduced a new range of Food Cards that have been developed to help dementia residents in care homes make informed food choices at mealtimes.

Historically, Food Cards have not represented food as it would appear on the plate, rather images have been snapshots of food choices – typically with neither plates nor cutlery in evidence. 

Such images are not easily recognised by dementia sufferers, who consequently find them difficult to comprehend. 

The new Food Cards being rolled out by Caterplus takes the concept to a new level. Each card portrays a different meal choice, exactly how it would appear on a plate and is shown to dementia residents before mealtimes to help them decide what they would like to eat.

“It was important for us to create a range of cards that was as accessible as possible for dementia residents in care homes in order to provide them with a dignified dining experience,” said Caterplus managing director Laura Tighe.

“We’ve closely collaborated with care homes and residents to ensure the Cards provide the best support by providing context and ease of use to streamline mealtimes,” she added.

The Caterplus Food Cards have been carefully curated to be visually engaging and easy to follow for dementia residents. To avoid any confusion and to encourage food choices, the Cards dish images are consistent and include cutlery.

Each A5 image is accompanied by information detailing where the food sits on the International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative (IDDSI) framework, giving carers a quick reference as to its suitability for each resident. 

There is also guidance on how the dish can be adapted to make them suitable for IDDSI levels.

Elior head of dietetics and nutrition Mandy Davies said: “Improving people’s health and wellbeing through food is a key part of our business. We are very aware that catering for dementia residents can be particularly challenging due to their very specific needs. 

“These Food Cards have been created with residents and carers in mind. Residents have a clear representation of their food, while carers have guidance on how to ensure that each resident is served only what is appropriate for them.”

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Upcoming Events

LaingBuisson Social Care Summit

etc.venues, St. Paul's, London
Tuesday 11th June 2024

Care & Occupational Therapy Show 2024

Westpoint Arena, Exeter
Wednesday 17th July 2024

Care Show Birmingham

National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham
9th October - 10th October 2024

Care Roadshow South

Epsom Downs Racecourse, Epsom
15th October 2024

Dementia Summit

The King’s Fund, No.11 Cavendish Square, London, W1G 0AN
Thursday 31st October 2024

Care Roadshow Wales

Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff
12th November 2024

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