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Nutrition on the menu for seniors

Superfood smoothies and vitamin-packed muffins will be on the menu across Villa Maria Catholic Homes (VMCH) aged care residences this week to celebrate Nutrition and Hydration Week 2016.
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Villa Maria Catholic Homes is putting nutrition on the menu for Nutrition and Hydration Week 2016.

The global awareness week, held from 14-20 March, aims to shine a light on the importance of nutrition and hydration within health and social care settings.

VMCH catering services manager Ellis Wilkinson describes hydration and nutrition as “critically important” for seniors in aged care.

“As we age we can lose our appetite which can lead to an unbalanced diet, affecting many aspects of daily life such as deceased energy levels and a lower immune system,” Ms Wilkinson says.

“It’s important to realise that a well-balanced diet assists in the prevention or management of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer.

“At VMCH we are looking at the everyday ingredients; how we put them together in our recipes, how we can use or adjust these to ensure we can better assist the overall wellbeing of our residents.

“Industry wide, we need to look at how food can be used to benefit specific areas of the clinical process such as decreasing the time it takes to heal a wound or tailored food programs to tackle weight management.”

Ms Wilkinson says it is also important to educate residents about nutrition and hydration.

“During the week we will be discussing the individual benefits of each dish with residents and how it can help them. We are also soon introducing a new menu across all of our twelve residences which focuses on produce-driven and nutritionally balanced menu options.”

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