Nursing home staff in part of the East Midlands are receiving support to spot the hidden signs of dehydration and malnutrition earlier.
A prevention programme, to help ensure residents in nursing homes stay hydrated and well, was launched this week with a first of its kind workshop.
“We can increase the skillset of our nurses working in nursing homes”
The event saw nurses and nursing home staff taught about spotting the hidden signs of dehydration and malnutrition earlier in the vulnerable residents they care for.
During the last 12 months around 10% of care home residents admitted to hospital had symptoms of dehydration, said Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group, which is behind the initiative.
The launch of the prevention programme was intended to coincide with National Nutrition and Hydration Week, which runs from 13-19 March. It is supported by the CCG’s nursing leads and GPs.
Initiative to help care home staff spot dehydration signs
The workshop, presented by the Leicester City Care Home Dietetic Team, covered the signs and symptoms of dehydration and malnutrition, and how they can be difficult to diagnose because of other pre-existing conditions.
As part of the workshop, nursing staff were advised how to best include nutritional needs and risk of dehydration into a resident’s individual care plan to help prevent them becoming unwell. Staff also learnt “smarter” ways to monitor and improve the daily food and fluid intake of their residents.
Chris West, director of quality and nursing at Leicester City CCG, said: “Residents who live in nursing homes are particularly at risk of developing [malnutrition and dehydration] because some of them already have complex health needs which can mask the symptoms.
“Introducing this support programme means we can increase the skillset of our nurses working in nursing homes to keep residents safe, well and supported,” she added.