Blog

Why “Hidden Teams” Can Transform Your Aged Care Service

This great article in Harvard Business Review discusses the positive impact of teams in organisations – and how teams are hidden from organisation charts and hierarchies, even though 83% of workers surveyed said most work is done as part of a team. While the traditional focus is usually on improving collective company culture or individual staff performance and engagement, the authors suggest great teams and teamwork aren’t […]

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Maillard Reaction – Browning, Flavour and Aroma

Which chicken dish looks the more appealing? The one on the left is cooked at 95°C and on the right at a much higher 150°C, creating the Maillard reaction (the extra hot (above 140°C) dry heating of carbohydrates and proteins which give us the roasted, toasted notes as in baked foods, chocolate, coffee, etc).  It makes food taste better! Each type of food has a very distinctive […]

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IDDSI and Soft Diets

With the introduction of IDDSI, soft diets should be teased apart into 6 – Soft & Bite-Sized for those assessed with dysphagia or 7 – Regular/Easy to Chew for those who do not have dysphagia but still require a soft diet. Implementation of IDDSI may require reassessment of residents by the Speech Pathologist to determine what level of diet is most suitable to maintain safety, dignity and quality […]

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IDDSI and Dysphagia – 3 Takeaways

  April’s The Lantern Project discussion was all about IDDSI and dysphagia. My 3 takeaways? 1. Download and refer to the IDDSI app. Great resource for information sheets, audit tools, movies, etc. Once downloaded, you can use the app offline. 2. The international framework is effective FROM 1 May. Build IDDSI into your discussions and meal service now and implement in a planned systematic way. IDDSI is not regulated and […]

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Will IDDSI make it Better for your Residents?

The Queensland Chapter of The Institute of Hospitality in Healthcare held an informative session on introducing the IDDSI framework into healthcare and aged care.  New modified food and fluid terminology as developed by IDDSI is coming into effect in Australia on 1 May 2019. The framework will impact your menu, recipes, meal production, staff training, processes, documentation, software, supplier agreements, testing methods, compliance recording, internal audits, quality outcomes. […]

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Your Pureed Meal is Always Reheated

 11-17 March is international Nutrition & Hydration Week, to highlight, promote and celebrate improvements in nutrition and hydration. Adequate nutrition is dependent on the amount of food actually eaten.  A nutritious, varied, well balanced menu is only as effective as the amount that is consumed.  For residents in aged care who require their meal texture to be modified, ensuring the meal is palatable is critical for maximising […]

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Umami

Umami – expanding the taste of food

Umami is one of five basic tastes (the others: sweet, sour, bitter, salty). It is picked up through separate taste receptors and may be described as “savoury”. What have you got in the cupboard to increase the umami taste which can stimulate saliva and increase consumption? At a Monash University lecture on Mouthfeel recently, Danish Gastrophysicist Ole Mouritsen explained the joy of unlocking the secrets of the […]

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Do you give them a scoop and expect Insta-worthy meal presentation?

I recently finished a meals review of a residential care facility where 60% of the residents required texture modification of their meals. I am seeing the dilemma – and the opportunity – of catering to this large cohort of people on texture modified diets, in residential care and in the community. Staff at this busy facility (like many I immerse with), plate the food in the dining […]

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Did photos of your Christmas lunch end up on social media?

A recent discovery of an aged care Twitter feed saw dozens of photos of poorly presented meals from aged care facilities. With the Royal Commission ramping up and holding its first public hearing in Adelaide on 18 January, I am sure we will see a tidal wave of unflattering meal photos on every social media platform imaginable. Over the last few years I have shared many meals […]

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What would happen if you have an unannounced visit tomorrow?

We all have a vested interest in aged care.  Whether the recommendations of the Royal Commission are sound and implemented will answer the vital Four Corners question  Who Cares? From 1 July 2018, residential aged care homes are no longer given notice of the date of their AACQA re-accreditation audit.  Under a crackdown by the national auditor following the Oakden scandal, unannounced audits are catching some homes […]

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