You might be a Chef who has been working in Gastro Pubs for many years, but fancy a change of scenery and want to experience working somewhere different- such as in a care home.
So, your DBS has come back all clear and you are ready to role.. but what do Chefs cook in care homes?
Working at care homes require you to be able to cater for people who need to eat a textured diet. It’s common for elderly people to suffer from diseases such as Dysphagia (problems with swallowing), which leaves them at risk of choking or aspiration of food into their lungs if they eat food that hasn’t been puréed. They may also be at risk of being unable to eat sufficient food to maintain their weight and unable to drink sufficient fluid to maintain hydration. Also, sometimes people with Dementia will spit out lumps that they find in food.
Here is some information about the different kinds of diets that Chefs cater for at care homes:
This means that there are no restrictions with the person’s diet- and they can eat regular food.
Mechanical Soft Diet
A Mechanical Soft Diet involves foods that are easily chewed & swallowed. It’s useful for people who are learning to use dentures. It may also be helpful for people who are too weak to chew regular foods. Aside from chopping / grinding meat, little preparation is needed. Foods that may be restricted include tough meats, fresh fruits or tough skin, dried fruit, raw vegetables, vegetables with tough skins or membranes, hard rolls, bagels, breadsticks, popcorn, bacon, nuts, deep fried crispy food, desserts with dried fruit or nuts, potato or snack crisps.
Puréed Diets are made up of foods that require no chewing- like mashed potatoes. Liquids such as milk, broth, juice or water may be added to foods to make them the right texture. Food should be of a mashed-potato consistency, not too runny. Puréed foods should be properly seasoned in the same way as regular foods. A blender or food processor is used to attain proper consistency. Food may require additional liquids or thickening during preparation to achieve the proper thickness. It’s important to increase the calorie intake of dishes due to the small quantity eaten.
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