Caption: Home Instead carer Lorraine Brikett is helping to re-engage the older people she works with in food and eating.
Home Instead Senior Care has teamed up with TV chef Rosemary Shrager to launch a series of new recipes as part of an initiative to get older people eating again.
The recipes have been commissioned by the home care provider as part of it’s Stay Nourished campaign, which was launched last year following a study that showed over a third (34%) of people aged 75 and over are skipping meals once a week or more.
The campaign has was also created in response to research by YouGov that says nearly one in 10 older people admit they rarely get to eat their favourite nostalgic dishes.
Martin Jones, managing director of Home Instead Senior Care said: “We already know that malnutrition in older people can have significant impact on physical health and wellbeing and it is on the rise. Our research showed that significant numbers of older people are skipping meals and this is something we felt we needed to address.”
Traditional roast beef and Yorkshire pudding topped the mealtime charts for Britain’s over 75s with nearly a quarter (24%) choosing the traditional beef Sunday roast as their favourite nostalgic home-cooked meal with regional stew (11%) and fish and chips (10%) coming in second and third place.
Rosemary Shrager has used these findings to create three recipes to help families and carers inspire older people to fall back in love with food.
Shrager said: “Eating well should play a significant part in all our lives and we know that a good diet and regular, nutritious meals are essential to keep older people healthy and at home for longer. As we age our tastes change, cooking can become difficult or we become jaded by repetitive meals, which can cause many older people to lose their interest in food.
“These simple, tasty and nostalgic recipes have been designed with these people in mind, and to help families or carers inspire older people. Starting the conversation about what people like, what they remember and getting them involved in the food they eat can reignite tastes and memories.”
Around one in 10 (about 1.3 million) older people in the UK are malnourished or at risk of malnutrition – with malnutrition costing the NHS an estimated £19.6bn a year, according to a study by the British Association for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition and NIHR Southampton Biomedical Research Centre at the University Hospital Southampton.
Jane Murphy, Professor of Nutrition at Bournemouth University, said: “In older generations, tastes and appetite might change for a multitude of reasons. This could be through illness, bereavement, boredom, or it could be as simple as not being inspired by microwave meals or bland, simple to cook options.
“It’s crucial that food is tailored to meet individual needs through a variety of tastes, smells and textures that will help keep people interested in food. These recipes are nutritionally balanced, providing important food groups and necessary vitamins and minerals that may be lacking in the diets of older people. Providing extra calories and protein is vital if people have smaller appetities and have lost weight.”
Jones continued: “The Stay Noursished campaign was launched to help both families and carers understand the importance of keeping older people well nourished and interested in food. Food and nutrition play such an important role in our wellbeing and health and we’re delighted to have worked with such an high profile chef to help get older people excited by food again.”