We all need to eat; we all need to drink – there’s no question about that. So why have a worldwide campaign week devoted to nutrition and hydration week?
The answer is simple. Nutrition & Hydration Week, which this year runs from 13-19 March, was created because these basic needs – food and drink – are not always delivered in our hospitals, care homes and other healthcare settings. Perhaps it’s the glass of water left for someone on a bedside table, yet too far away for them too reach. It could be under-resourced wards where staff are too pressured to spend time assisting those who need help with eating. It might be noise and disturbance that puts someone off eating their food.
When we are undernourished or dehydrated it has a big impact on our wellbeing, slowing our recovery rate from illness and creating additional health problems at a time when we’re already vulnerable. The Nutrition & Hydration Week campaign aims to educate healthcare providers to recognise when individuals are not eating and drinking enough, and to empower them to have choice and control of their needs. The crux of the message is that Mealtimes Matter, which centres around creating environments that make eating and drinking pleasurable, social and fully supported.
And that’s something I wholeheartedly endorse.
I created Nourish because I wanted to galvanise a group of passionate, disruptive supporters who would help me shake up the landscape of food in a caring setting. With your help, we can ensure that not just nutrition and hydration – but also the connecting experience and joy of eating – is seen as essential as getting the correct medication. Nourishment is a basic human right. It empowers, comforts and sustains. And it brings happiness.
It’s not just a meal or a glass of water. It’s life itself.
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