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Special moulds which shape pureed food to resemble everyday meals have transformed the dining experience for some residents at an Island care home.
The Gouldings in Freshwater, run by the Isle of Wight Council, use the moulds for people with dysphagia (what’s this?), which make swallowing solid food difficult.
The new method – rarely used in the UK – enables the food to be frozen into shapes and reheated to mirror the look of a regular meal, rather than served in liquidised scoops.
Helped to revive enjoyment of meal times
In some cases, individuals have improved their general health and it has helped to revive enjoyment of meal times.
A senior occupational therapist at The Gouldings, said:
“The results have been remarkable.
“It has empowered individuals with dysphagia to enjoy their food again.
“We’ve had people losing weight because they were not inspired to eat but now they’ve gained weight and showed renewed interest in their food.”
The moulds, which are oven, freezer and dishwasher safe, are available from Australia, where extensive work has been carried out around cuisine for people with dysphagia.
Cllr Clare Mosdell, Cabinet member for adult social care, added:
“We were extremely fortunate the kitchen staff brought this idea forward.
“It was quickly resourced to be trialled by the occupational therapist, who had seen this used effectively in Australia.
“The head chef, Steve Collins and his assistant Barry Williams were keen to introduce it, with the support of the registered manager, Peter Harris.
“It’s making a real difference to lives of these residents at The Gouldings.”
Image: Back row, from left, kitchen staff Alan Tharle, Barry Williams and Lisa Plucknett. Front, Gouldings registered manager Peter Harris and kitchen supervisor Jackie Williams