Social Enterprise (SE) Spotlight
My world changed when I saw my demented grandma rejecting all pureed foods because it was all so unfamiliar to her. The emotional impact inspired me to begin a journey to find out how other people with such challenges cope.
We found that many people with dysphagia - or difficulty swallowing - do not enjoy their meals. As a result, almost a quarter of the elderly are malnourished.
With our new line of GentleFoods® meals, we hope that elderly and other patients with swallowing difficulties will now be able to enjoy a wide variety of safe and tasty meals with their loved ones, while reducing the amount of time their caregivers currently spend on preparing and serving such meals.
We are committed to achieving to serve at least 90,000 meals every month to about 1,500 seniors with dysphagia by the end of 2023.
Dr Shen Yiru, Founder of GentleFoods
The work we do
Dysphagia is a condition where one has trouble in swallowing liquids and food. It is generally more common in older people because of nerve or muscle issues. Undiagnosed or poorly managed dysphagia increases the risk of choking, dehydration, and malnutrition.
Texture-modified diets - or pureed meals, are often recommended for people with dysphagia, but caregivers frequently find it challenging and time-consuming to prepare nutritionally complete meals with appropriate textures.
Individuals with dysphagia also find it difficult to accept the complete change of diet - from eating regular food to a 100% pureed meal. Many people are unaware of this real problem that this underserved population go through.
GentleFoods create familiar, safe, and nutritious meals that stimulate appetite with the way it looks, tastes and smells. This helps to bring the joy of food back into the lives of the elderly population and people with swallowing difficulties.
We make sure that the selection of local Asian flavours is what our customers are familiar with. Our ready-to-eat pureed meals are frozen - caregivers only need to heat them up to serve.
Our beneficiaries are the elderly and patients with swallowing difficulties. They could be people with stroke, cancer, muscle weakness, dementia, or Parkinson’s disease.
To date we have,
- Enabled more than 600 elderly residents to find enjoyment in eating again.
- Served at least 140,000 meals monthly to individuals with swallowing difficulties.
- Created more than 90 types of texture-modified diets which are currently available to nursing homes and individuals at homes.
How we partner with DBS Foundation
The DBS Foundation Social Enterprise Grant enables GentleFoods to scale up production of texture-modified foods to serve more elderly with dysphagia, as well as allow us to invest in R&D for new products.Get to know GentleFoods better!
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