The healthcare division of Compass Group UK & Ireland, Medirest, has launched the use of blue plates alongside providing specialised finger food options, both specifically designed to support people living with dementia.
Last year, Medirest rolled out a Dignified Dining toolkit, in a bid to provide patients in hospitals and care homes with tailored nutritional care. The toolkit, which was put together in consultation with Alzheimer’s Society, outlines ten key nutritional related guidelines, enabling people with dementia to be given more personalised and specialist support in relation to their food provision, an essential part of their care.
Medirest is now introducing the use of blue plates and specific finger food options, which are being rolled out to 30 hospital Trusts where Medirest delivers the food to patients. The new range has been introduced to enhance the Dignified Dining toolkit and is in conjunction with Medirest’s Steamplicity range, a unique patented cooking system to steam cook fresh and raw ingredients in under five minutes.
Some people living with dementia experience difficulties with sight and perception and as a result fail to distinguish between their food and crockery. Research shows that the use of a bright, contrasting colour plate helps people see their food more easily and encourages people with dementia to eat more to maintain a balanced diet. In addition to this, the new finger food options include food which people living with the condition may find easier to eat with their hands, from a range of hot food, salads, sandwiches to healthy dessert options.
Steven Cenci, Managing Director of Healthcare at Compass Group UK & Ireland, said, “The launch of the blue plate range and finger food menus will go a long way in supporting those living with dementia to remain healthy. Managing the food provision of people with dementia is crucial to their well-being and we aim to continue with our work in providing exceptional nutritional care for people affected by the condition through introducing different coloured plates and finger-food options as part of our Steamplicity offer.”
Maxine Cartz, Dietitian at Compass Group UK & Ireland, said, “People living with dementia often find it difficult to meet their nutritional needs. Our Dignified Dining toolkit provides key guidelines to enable people with the condition to be given specialist support in relation to their food provision. Following on from this, we are now excited to be launching our blue plates range and tailored finger food menu items as it will provide further support to people affected by dementia when it comes to mealtimes and encouraging them to eat.”
Kathryn Smith, Director of Operations at Alzheimer’s Society, added, “Eating and drinking can become an issue for people living with dementia and this can lead to severe weight loss and dehydration. The launch of the blue plates will encourage people with dementia who have difficulties with sight and perception to differentiate between their food and crockery. The finger food menu is a great way to further support their nutritional needs through offering food they find easy to eat with their hands.”