Working together with the Resident and their care team, we optimize Nutrition to avoid complications and trips to the Hospital.
As a dietitian in Long Term Care(LTC), I work with the Young Adult unit, the Elderly Fragile unit and the Dementia unit. These residents are in LTC due to the complex needs with diseases such as Alzheimer’s, strokes, Diabetes, Heart Disease, Huntington’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Schizophrenia, and Parkinson’s Disease. My goal is to work with the resident and care team to provide the best possible care to residents.
I monitor resident's nutritional status to prevent or delay a trip to the hospital. As a Dietitian, I develop treatments to help reduce malnutrition, poor food intake, skin wounds, dehydration, unintended weight loss, unintended weigh gain, and poor blood sugar control.
Along with the basic nutritional needs, I work closely with the Resident, and their care team to develop the best way to keep up their nutrition. Since I am not a constant observer of the residents, the health care staff are able to provide insight into a residents behaviours and responses to different treatment. This includes providing nutrition at the best time, knowing food tolerances and textures, and identifying behavior interventions that work.
I have frequent contact with the resident to acknowledge, include them their treatment, and encourage them to eat. I also work closely with families to obtain any other information on food likes and dislikes or how they can help.
In some cases, a resident needs extra nutritional. Nursing staff are of great assistance if nutritional supplements are required. They provide feedback on acceptance and tolerance of supplements to make sure Residents are getting a benefit.
Along with daily interaction with residents and the health care team, Dietitians work with Food Service Managers in developing therapeutic and special menus for residents. This requires detailed knowledge of therapeutic diets and modified textures. Some examples of this are providing nourishment with other foods tolerated, in various quantities, after certain interventions, such as after medications, at earlier times in the day.
Working with staff and family are crucial in meeting nutritional needs.
Visit the Canadian Malnutrition Task Force website for evidenced-based tools and resources that help prevent, detect and treat malnutrition. CLICK HERE.