Stress Awareness Month – Calming dining environments in care

Have you heard the saying ‘You are what you eat’?

I tend to lean more towards ‘We are where we eat, how we eat, what we eat and how we digest, assimilate and eliminate’!

Obtaining nutrition from food isn’t only about the food we choose to eat. It can also be about the environment and how stressed we are feeling, which has a direct impact on how well we might digest and absorb nutrients.

There are two parts of our nervous system known as the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. Also more commonly known as ‘fight or flight‘ (the sympathetic) and the ‘rest and digest‘ (parasympathetic).

When we eat surrounded by stressors such as a busy loud environment, or with loud overwhelming music or the TV on, our fight or flight response is activated. This means that blood flow is directed away from the digestive tract in preparation to fight or run – making nutrients restricted and unable to pass into the blood stream for transportation to cells and organs.

When an environment is calming and no stressors are present, we are in a better position to receive food and digest properly. The gives more chance for the nutrients to be absorbed and go where they need to for use.

When looking at our dining environments across our Nellsar Homes, one of the key areas I look out for is how calming they are for residents.

I gauge how the environment looks, feels, smells and sounds, and work on ways we can make adjustments to better suit a calming space for people to eat in.

We have lots of residents living with Dementia residing in our Nellsar Homes. Cognitive impairments such as Dementia can heighten peoples’ senses and make them more sensitive to the world around them. It is therefore important that we ensure our dining environments are as ‘rest and digest’ promoting as possible for our residents, so they can take time to enjoy their food in calm and pleasant surroundings which promote well-being and good digestion.

 

 

 

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Nellsar has 13 Care Homes throughout Kent, Surrey and Essex

Care Home in Bromley

Bromley Park Care Home
BROMLEY

Meyer House Care Home in Maidstone

Meyer House Care Home
DARTFORD

Sonya Lodge Care Home in Dartford

Sonya Lodge Residential
Care Home DARTFORD

The Old Downs Care Home in Dartford

The Old Downs Residential
Care Home DARTFORD

St Winifreds Care Home in Deal, Kent

St Winifreds Care Home
DEAL

Loose Valley Care Home
MAIDSTONE

Lukestone Care Home
MAIDSTONE

Lulworth House Care Home in Maidstone

Lulworth House Residential
Care Home MAIDSTONE

Hengist Field Care Home
SITTINGBOURNE

Woodstock Residential
Care Home SITTINGBOURNE

Abbotsleigh Care Home Staplehurst Kent

Abbotsleigh Care Home
STAPLEHURST

Princess Christian Care Home Surrey

Princess Christian Care Home
SURREY

Silverpoint Court Residential
Care Home ESSEX

Bromley Park Care Home
BROMLEY

Meyer House Care Home
DARTFORD

Sonya Lodge Residential
Care Home DARTFORD

The Old Downs Care Home in Dartford

The Old Downs Residential
Care Home DARTFORD

St Winifreds Care Home
DEAL

Loose Valley Care Home
MAIDSTONE

Lukestone Care Home
MAIDSTONE

Lulworth House Residential
Care Home MAIDSTONE

Hengist Field Care Home
SITTINGBOURNE

Woodstock Residential
Care Home SITTINGBOURNE

Abbotsleigh Care Home Staplehurst Kent

Abbotsleigh Care Home
STAPLEHURST

Bromley Park Care Home
BROMLEY

Care Home in Bromley

Meyer House Care Home
DARTFORD

Sonya Lodge Residential Care Home
DARTFORD

The Old Downs Residential Care Home
DARTFORD

St Winifreds Care Home
DEAL

St Winifreds Care Home in Deal Kent

Loose Valley Care Home
MAIDSTONE

Lukestone Care Home
MAIDSTONE

Lulworth House Residential Care Home
MAIDSTONE

Lulworth House Care Home in Maidstone

Hengist Field Care Home
SITTINGBOURNE

Woodstock Residential Care Home
SITTINGBOURNE

Abbotsleigh Care Home
STAPLEHURST

Princess Christian Care Home
WOKING

Silverpoint Court Residential Care Home
CANVEY ISLAND