This information has been put together in response to the dietary challenges people may currently be facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This advice is for:
- Older adults with a poor appetite who are social distancing or may be recovering from COVID-19
- Healthy adults who want general advice on healthy eating and diet
- Health and care professionals and care home staff who might need further information
Older adults with a poor appetite who are social distancing or may be recovering from COVID-19
These resources can be used by patients, carers and volunteers, as well as Community Health and Care professionals.
Social-distancing is a risk factor for malnutrition (undernutrition) and dehydration, which in turn increases risks of falls and chest infections. If you or someone you care for is not eating and drinking normally, they may be at risk of malnutrition.
There are various ways this can be checked, including the Patients Association nutrition checklists. (Please note that at the current time, many local organisations are not able to run due to COVID-19. It is recommended to check with local organisations including local council and volunteer organisations for needs and advice for social support.)
- A brief guide for older adults to keep well when social distancing
- A list of basic store cupboard foods, particularly if you can’t get to the shops
- A further advice sheet for making the most of your food
- An advice sheet on drinking enough fluid
- A diet sheet on Eating Well post-COVID 19, (with thanks to the RD&E Department of Nutrition and Dietetics
Nourishing drinks can be a useful for people who are eating small amounts. These can be bought ‘over-the-counter’ (such as Complan, Meritene and Aymes Retail) or home-made. Some recipes are available here.
If you or someone you care for is concerned about unintentional weight loss, please contact your GP or other Healthcare professional for further advice.
Healthy adults who want general advice on healthy eating and diet
Health and care professionals and care home staff who might need further information
This section has been adapted from information kindly supplied by Care Home Dietitians, Kernow CCG.
For those with a small intake or who are at risk of malnutrition, please refer to the Caring for Care homes Guidance sheets, numbers 06 and 07 on the NHS Devon CCG website.
You are recommended to continue screening your residents for malnutrition risk according to your usual policy using MUST Calculator, taking into account appropriate infection control measures.
- There are no specific foods or vitamin or mineral supplements that will prevent a person catching COVID-19. Eating a well-balanced diet can help support the normal functioning of the immune system, and so it is important to continue to eat well and have a range of foods. However no individual nutrient, food or supplement is going to boost your immune system. Good hygiene practice remains the best means of avoiding infection.
- There is currently no evidence to suggest that the COVID-19 virus is transmitted when handling or preparing food. Please continue to follow general food safety advice; washing hands thoroughly, cleaning surfaces and separating raw meat/fish from other foods when preparing food.
Other useful information:
We hope you find the above information helpful. If you have any further queries you can contact the Community Dietitians on: rde-tr.CommDietitiansRDE@nhs.net