COVID-19: Troubleshooting issues with room isolation and restriction of visitors (part 2)

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, the CDC recommended that the residents eat in their rooms. This was a problem for one of my units with a large dementia population. One resident was so distraught that she couldn’t go out of her room that she threw her food on the floor and also did end up presenting with weight loss. Others were simply not doing well with being out of their routine. Many needed constant cueing, but staffing was an issue. The team met and it was decided that the residents needing assist or cueing would have someone designated to be their assistant for each meal. Upon completing meal rounds, I found that the residents are now being assisted with their meal in a timely manner and we are getting a lot of good feedback on individual preferences. So, just a reminder to all, if you have a dementia population, make an effort to ensure that they are being fed in a timely manner when any situation arises that changes their established routine.

COVID-19: Troubleshooting issues with room isolation and restriction of visitors (part 1)

To prevent the spread of Covid-19, the CDC recommended that residents at nursing facilities have meals in their rooms and that they do not have visitors. This also included having family members and friends bring in food. This had been going on since mid-march 2020. What I didn’t realize was that there were some residents whose family members regularly brought in snacks. Thus, their supply dwindled and by the time the April weights came along we had a couple of individuals present with a significant loss. Upon speaking to the resident, family and nurse, it was discovered that is was an issue with snacks. As a result, we purchased a variety of snacks, similar to what the families might bring in. A snack cart goes around daily and the units are given extra snacks for requests at other times. I actually took a few a the residents a large zip lock bag of a variety of snacks. The look on the one resident’s face was priceless. So, this veteran dietitian learned that it’s best to assess any new “normal” to see how it might affect the residents overall health and well-being.

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