KWRE Interview with Administrator Charlotte Litle and Chef Chavez

Discussing the important role nutrition plays in the wellbeing of our residents.

At Garden View Care Centers meals play an important role in the lives of the seniors who live there. There is a big risk of malnutrition in older people but at Garden View Care Centers our nursing staff help to prevent malnutrition by carefully assessing the dietary needs and intake of our residents at meals and snack times. Having the medical resources on hand we can also involve a wider healthcare team approach using speech and language therapists, dietitians, occupational therapists, doctors or dentists.

Malnutrition in older adults is caused by many factors including declining health due to diseases like Alzheimer’s where seniors forget to eat. Sometimes as we age we lose the manual dexterity to be able to light stoves, open cans along with packets of food and cooking meals for ourselves becomes increasingly difficult. Metabolic changes can cause us to lose weight and some medicines have the side effect that decreases appetite. Loss of teeth or ill-fitting dentures prevent chewing and make meals to painful at times to consumer. Normal ageing also includes physiological changes such as a less acute sense of taste, a fall in basal metabolic rate, decline in muscle mass and tone, and impaired swallowing. Changes in the small intestine can result in lactose intolerance (McLaren and Crawley, 2000). Older people do not necessarily want large, heavy meals. Our trained staff can Identify small but potentially influential problems that help to prevent malnutrition . At Garden View Care Centers we have the medical resources on hand to include a wider healthcare team approach using speech and language therapists, dietitians, occupational therapists, doctors or dentists all of whom help our residents to get the best support they can to ensure their nutritional needs are met.

Oftentimes too the only thing stopping a resident with disability from being independent at mealtimes is the lack of eating or drinking aids. Cutlery with a larger grip, angled or combination cutlery, rubber non slip mats, egg cups with suction pads to attach them to the plate, cups with two handles or padded handled can make a big different to an individual’s independence when eating . Meal times have a great social aspect to them as well as nutritional benefits. Residents look forward to eating, commonly meals times are social highlights of their day.

Garden View Care Centers has an executive chefs at each location in Chesterfield, Dougherty Ferry and O’ Fallon. All three chefs realize the importance of preparing well balanced and tasty meals to help our residents thrive. Feel free to take a tour of any one of our locations and join us for a meal after the tour.