Nutrition is one of the greatest weapons against disease; it is also the key to healthy ageing. Enjoying a varied, nutritionally balanced diet can reduce the risk of many chronic diseases, help control blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and generally help you feel better.

It is strange – and disturbing – therefore that many care homes seem to base their food options entirely on cost. However, at Food & Drink News we’ve discovered a company that offers its residents not only high quality menus, but also choice: that company is Bondcare.

Striving to bring happiness to all of its residents, Bondcare currently has nine care homes located throughout England, with a tenth set to open in Nottingham as we go to press. Wherever the location though, the residents receive care and an environment that has set a benchmark for the industry, and nowhere is this more obvious than in the ‘kitchen’.

Everyone who resides within a Bondcare home enjoys fresh, tasty food (no pre-packed options) that is prepared on-site by trained chefs. What’s more, all special diets are catered for and residents can eat in their rooms, or at different times, if they prefer. For anyone who has visited the ‘average’ care home this is impressive enough, but Bondcare go much further.

Those living with dementia, for instance, are often very active throughout the day; therefore, Bondcare ensures that they receive a diet high in calories. Indeed, many residents who have dementia spend a considerable amount of time just walking, which requires an amazing amount of energy. With this in mind, a number of ‘feeding shelves’ have been incorporated, which are located throughout the corridors and contain high calorie food items such as fudge and high water content items such as carrot sticks and seedless grapes.

Also, where there is the possibility of constipation or urinary tract problems, Bondcare has pulled away from the ‘pharmaceutical route’ as much as possible, offering prune juice at breakfast and cranberry juice at lunch. It has proven to be an effective, long-term and extremely healthy solution.

Another side of the Bondcare business deals with people who have learning disabilities, and once again it is vital that good nutrition is administered. This goes a long way to explaining why, across the entire Bondcare organisation, much of the food is sourced from local butchers and greengrocers. Having said that, the company has an excellent relationship with Brakes, which is itself renowned for providing superior quality at excellent prices.

With several meals throughout the day, including supper, and food available when the kitchen is ‘not really’ open (bread, butter and various fillings on the tables to allow residents to make their own sandwiches being just one example), Bondcare is setting a new standard. It is giving its residents not only good nutrition, but also dignity and, as you will see if you look at other areas of its care homes, an awful lot of fun!

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