Signature Care Homes takes pride in the high quality of the food delivered by its award-winning head chefs, supported by our Group Food and Beverage Manager. Eating is one of the great pleasures in life, and Signature believes that its residents should enjoy food that is beautiful, delicious and nutritious. We take our residents’ food requirements very seriously, and spend a great deal of time gaining better knowledge of individuals’ likes and dislikes as well as their dietary requirements. These often cover many complex needs, including one topic that presents unique challenges; dysphagia.
Dysphagia is defined as difficulty or discomfort in swallowing, often as a symptom of disease. Signature is committed to offering a varied, balanced and attractive menu for residents who suffer from this condition, and we believe that we can offer a dining experience that is inspiring aesthetically, nutritionally and in terms of flavour.
In April 2019, IDDSI (International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative) was launched across the world with the aim to provide people affected with dysphagia the ability to continue to dine with dignity. This was a huge undertaking for all catering and care teams, but has been proven to improve the quality of life, healthiness and mental wellbeing for many people not usually able to enjoy typical menus. Through texture modification, we have trained our chefs to be able to prepare almost any food as a puree and to present this as a familiar meal.
In most care homes, presentation of pureed meals has typically been in the format of pre-prepared meals with little visual stimulation. At Signature, however, we create all our purees from fresh food, and present pureed meals attractively, with the elements of the food as close visually to their original form as possible.
At Signature, we work closely with our residents, their families and our care teams to provide a daily menu for those residents suffering with dysphagia. A typical day’s menu could include toast with jam, sausage, beans and hash browns and roast chicken and vegetables. Afternoon snacks and biscuits are also entirely achievable with the right training.
Signature hosts regular nutritional workshops where chefs can learn and practice new methods. Our chefs have become very accomplished, with many seeing pureed food as a different art form rather than just a medical need. Many of our chefs have even been inspired to enter national competitions and recognised events to highlight dysphagia-friendly food.
Signature are currently creating their own recipe book, showcasing some of beautiful examples of the type of meals that residents can enjoy at any of our luxury care homes. Signature has always been a market leader in the level of care provided, and we are now also leading the way when it comes to dysphagia-friendly nutrition.