Mealtime Assistance

45 min course

Course Description

Mealtime is about more than just eating. It is a time to rest, to socialise with family, friends, or colleagues and to enjoy the food. Making mealtimes a positive, enjoyable experience for individuals who need assistance is such an important aspect of their care. From good eye contact to providing a modified diet, we’ll look at how to ensure the best possible mealtime. This course will look at assisting individuals at mealtime. As far as possible, the individual should be involved in all aspects of their food and fluid care. Where assistance is required, this should be done discreetly, in a dignified way, while respecting personal preferences. The course will also look at eating, swallowing, and feeding. It will then look at food and personal hygiene at mealtimes and finish by discussing how to help should an individual choke. Please note that this course is an introduction to supporting an individual with mealtime needs. Further training maybe needed if you wish to become a mealtime assistant as an official role within a care home or special needs school.

Key objectives:

  • identify causes and effects of eating and drinking difficulties
  • Understand dysphagia
  • Understand the role of SALT
  • Understand the importance of nutrition
  • Understand the swallowing process
  • Explain why texture is important
  • Understand thickening agents
  • Explain how to prepare and use thickening agents
  • Understand the role of a mealtime assistant
  • Recognise how to support the individual
  • Explain basic food hygiene
  • Identify allergens in food
  • Recognise a choking emergency
  • Explain how to act in a choking emergency

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