nutrition and hydration awarenessweek

Great Oaks chef champions Nutrition and Hydration Awareness Week

In recognition of Nutrition and Hydration Awareness Week, which takes place from 14 to 20 June 2021, we spoke to one of our fantastic chefs about how we offer personalised care throughout our care homes, including in the meals and drinks we create.

Now let’s visit the kitchen and see what has made it onto the menu…

Roy Regan, a chef at our care home in Bournemouth, has more than 50 years of experience within the catering industry. He joined the Encore team in April last year bringing with him a wealth of knowledge built up over 30 years which were spent preparing meals for older people within the care sector. He started off working in Oakdale care home’s kitchen in Poole before transferring to creating tasty dishes for our Great Oaks residents.

How does Encore Care Homes get to know a resident’s favourite food and drink?

‘Roy says that the first step for the catering team is for them to personally meet each new resident and fill in a form that covers the person’s likes and dislikes, as well as any crucial allergen information. Roy says that they will always try to accommodate any special requests as much as they can.’

Do you cater for residents who need soft foods?

‘During the first meeting with the new resident, it gives us the opportunity to take note of any specific dietary needs, such as whether they need soft or liquidised foods. We cater for all ranges of food types from everyday dishes through to fully liquidised meals and we try our hardest to make sure that the soft food diets match what is on the day’s menu.’

Encore care home Great Oaks in Bournemouth. Chef Roy Regan.

How does the team encourage residents to stay hydrated?

‘This is led by the care staff for which we provide a host of fruit juices including apple juice, orange juice, pineapple juice and cranberry juice. We also supply blackcurrant and orange squash, milk drinks, tea, and coffee, and we also have cold water machines around the building. For our residents who need a fortified diet, we make them a milkshake containing additional nutrients.

‘We also encourage residents to support their liquid intake in the form of jellies, ice cream and fruit lollies, which are greatly welcomed in the warmer summer months, and we offer homemade soups using fresh ingredients during the colder weather months.

As a special treat, we also have a regular supply of alcohol-free beers and wine for the residents to enjoy with their meals.’

For more information about the care we provide at our care homes, visit the Our Care page.