Background Huntington Expertise Centre Atlant offers multidisciplinary care to 51 Huntington’s disease (HD) patients institutionalised in 2 Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF). In June 2015 patients of one SNF (n = 24) were relocated to a new ward. Anticipating more self-management, the 3 communal living rooms of this ward were completed with a contemporary kitchen unit. Once a week a professional cook prepared hot meals in one living room. Patients indicated to appreciate these hot meals. Until 2015 patients consumed facility-provided food.
We wondered whether home cooked hot meals will contribute to quality of life, wellbeing and to what extent patients have a say in selecting food and the amount of food intake.
Case History Since January 2016 we cooked hot meals on every living room. Family members volunteered to assist on a regular basis 3 times a week. Experiences of patients were explored using a survey. As weight loss is a risk factor to HD patients, body weight was monitored monthly. Preliminary results show that all patients enjoy the hot meals more than before; they have a say in what to eat, can scoop the amount they prefer and enjoy the smell of food. In addition, patients are more involved in preparing the meals. Thirteen patients gained weight; the other 11 lost weight. However, this weight loss was not significant.
Conclusions HD patients appreciate home cooked hot meals very much. It seems to benefit quality of life and self-management of patients. Involvement of family was found positive for everyone involved.
- home cooked meals
- nursing home