This Policy defines the procedures and philosophies to be observed towards assisting a service user to take food and drink, with due regard to the dignity of the service user and his / her right to make informed choices:
The precautions to be taken for the safe and hygienic handling of foodstuffs in the service user’s home are addressed in Policy No 3401.
1. Once food is prepared for the service user, the Care Worker may need to help the service user to eat and drink, according to the degree of dependency and ability. This help should be offered kindly and discreetly.
2. Where the service user has difficulty in cutting up food, or where there may be a real risk of choking if food pieces are too large, the Care Worker should ensure that the food is finely chopped, or even pureed if needed.
3. The Care Worker should ensure that the service user is fed at a pace that suits him / her.
4. The Care Worker must be aware of the need to use any Aids to Daily Living that the service user may require. These may include specially-shaped cutlery (where the service user may be arthritic, etc) and drinking mugs with lids and spouts. The need to use these Aids will have been previously determined at the Baseline Assessment of Needs stage.
5. Even if the service user is able to properly feed himself / herself, where possible the Care Worker should make time to sit with the service user during meal-times for company and conversation.