RESIDENTS at a nursing home have no excuse for not getting their five-a-day.

For they are growing their own organic produce in the grounds of the property.

The vegetable patch, set-up last year at Beanlands in Cross Hills, is flourishing.

Everything from chives to lettuces is being harvested.

Gerard Raedcher – area catering supervisor with Czajka Care Group, which runs the home and four others in the district – said it was important for care-home residents to have healthy and balanced diets.

He was speaking after research by the British Association of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition revealed that 35 per cent of elderly people were at nutritional risk when they first moved into a care home.

Shock figures also show that between 2013 and 2017, dehydration was noted on 398 death certificates and malnutrition on 226 for residents who died in NHS, local authority and privately-run care homes in England and Wales.

“The research surrounding the risk of malnutrition in care homes is shocking – especially when it’s a problem with such an obvious solution,” said Mr Raedcher.

“However, care homes do have to put in the work in order to fully understand their residents, as well as their likes and dislikes.

“Moving into a home can be a big change and it can have an impact on a person’s eating habits.

“First and foremost it’s important to understand whether people have any special dietary requirements.

“You need to be able to create tasty and nutritious meals for everyone, including vegetarians, vegans, diabetics and people who have food intolerances and religious diets.”

He added: “The vegetable patches were created at both Beanlands and Brookfield Care Home in Nab Wood and the initiative has proved to be hugely successful.

“The schemes also include paved pathways and raised planter-style areas that are fully wheelchair accessible.”