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3rd October 2014

Food in some care homes criticised by Older People's Commissioner

The Older People's Commissioner for Wales, Sarah Rochira, has told the BBC that some care home residents were becoming 'malnourished' because not enough care was going into the food they were offered.

Ms Rochira made the comments following her Residential Care Review of 100 care homes across Wales which was carried out earlier this year.

She called for an increased focus on providing nutritionally balanced meals and choice for vulnerable people. She said: "It is unacceptable that in some parts of Wales older people are malnourished in the place they should be able to call home.

"If we don't get it right we'll have people who are frailer than they need to be, more people admitted to hospital than there needs to be."

Local authority takes action to improve care home meals

Torfaen has acted to improve meals for older people after trading standards officers found some care homes were offering 800 calories of food a day to residents, while others were offering far more than the recommended level of about 2,000 calories, according to this BBC report.

It is developing a "unified menu planning system" and aims to provide an easy-to-use website which would be available to councils and care homes in other parts of Wales.

Sarah Herbert, a dietician with Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, said good diet can help avoid the risk of bed pressure sores, falls and acquired infections such as pneumonia.

"Care homes we've spoken to so far seem keen to engage with us to improve things. Hopefully we can develop a website to make it easier for people to get the right advice about portion sizes and what makes up a good menu," she said

Read more on this story

BBC News: Older people in Wales' care homes 'malnourished' says watchdog


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