Medirest develops 2 revolutionary meal concepts to combat undernourishment in hospitals and care homes.
Medirest’s primary mission is to provide healthy and tasty meals to guests in hospitals and care centres. But what if, for some reason, a patient can’t or won’t eat ?
That’s the question Luk Raymaekers, Director of Operations for Medirest, and his team wanted to resolve several years ago, when they studied the challenges they faced in providing great food services in the healthcare industry.
A lot of patients or guests lose the will or the ability to eat properly.
“We are specialists in food services, and naturally we want to share our expertise with our clients and give them the advice and support they need. Specifically, we wanted to see how we could help our clients provide better care for their patients,” Luk says. “And we found that a lot of patients or guests lose the will or the ability to eat properly. Either because they’ve lost their sense of taste, or because they have problems chewing or swallowing. And good nutrition is vital for patients to have any hope of recovery. So we immediately set to work on finding solutions to those problems. After some trial and error, we finally launched our 10-Step Approach in 2017.”
10 Practical Steps to combat undernourishment
The 10-Step Approach is about more than just the food served to guests. Medirest chefs and dieticians sit down with the clients’ staff: physicians, nurses, therapists and management. Together they compile a plan of action, screen the kitchen, the food operation as a whole and also the needs and habits of individual guests.
“We look at everything,” Luk adds,” what the guest actually needs in terms of calories and nutritional intake. But also how and where he eats, if we need to reverse hot and cold mealtimes, perhaps change the layout of the room... Anything, really, to improve eating habits and restore the patients' appetite. And of course, there’s a continuous feedback loop, where progress is monitored by care staff and we can make adjustments if and where needed.”
Part of the 10-Step Approach can be to use Medirest’s LiMiMotion solution to help patients eat.
With LiMiMotion (Liquid and Mixed Mealsolution) patients get personalised meals, according to their own needs and tastes in liquid or mixed form.
Limimotion makes people want to eat, which turns it into a very important part of our approach.
“The big difference with other mixed foods is that ours are tasty,” Luk laughs. “And with good reason. Aside from the obvious chewing or swallowing problems LiMiMotion solves, it offers guests the same healthy, nutritious and tasty food as their neighbours. It’s nicely arranged and plated and looks really attractive. Not the non-distinct mash people used to get. It makes people want to eat, which turns it into a very important part of our approach.”
The results are extremely promising. In over 70% of cases, guest regain a stable weight after following the programme.
“We had one patient in CPAS Hoogstraten,” adds Luk with a sparkle in his eyes,” who was either bedridden or in a wheelchair. 3 months after starting the 10-Step Plan, he had regained enough strength to get up and even to walk around a bit, step by little step. Just that one moment makes it all worthwhile, really.”
The numbers show the pivotal role good nutrition plays in getting or keeping guests fit, both mentally as well as physically. For many patients, it means regaining some independence and hope for the future.