A new white paper, released this week, highlights the importance of weighing care home residents and how it should be done.
The NHS has stated that a low body weight or significant decreases in weight are two symptoms of malnutrition. According to the British Association for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (BAPEN), malnutrition affects up to 42% of care home residents.
In the wider population, 10% of over 65s are affected.
‘Weighing in a care home: A complete guide’ – a white paper by UK scales manufacturer Marsden – aims to provide a better understanding of weighing in care homes.
Gemma Storey, a care home deputy manager and contributor to the white paper, said: “It is important to weigh residents who are coming into the home, so we have information on whether they are losing weight.
“It all depends on the resident as to when to weigh them. Normally we weigh residents every month, but if the resident is losing weight and under the guidance of a dietician then we would weigh the resident weekly.”
Marsden’s managing director, Richard Black, said: “An accurate weight reading is a critical metric that will help provide suitable care to each resident – as weight loss can be the first and sometimes the only indicator of poor health.
“Our new guide focuses on the importance of regular weighing to avoid problems, as well as how and when accurate weighing should take place.”
The white paper can be downloaded free at http://www.marsden-weighing.co.uk/index.php/blog/blog/2017/12/14/weighing-care-homes-guide/?src=carehomemanagement