Category Archives: Uncategorized

If your dining room was a restaurant, would your residents eat there?

When I visit residential aged care facilities, it doesn’t take long to get the feel for a place, as I have mentioned before here and here.  The same is true in the dining room – it is often reflective of the organisational culture.  Interestingly, dining rooms can have their own sub-culture and differ between dining rooms even within the same facility. Our starting point when reviewing a […]

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Assisting with oral care – one of the least liked tasks

Yesterday my friend rang me asking if I knew of any subsidised dental service her father could access.  He had difficulty eating his meals and didn’t want people seeing his condition so was feeling isolated. He could not afford to pay for private dental treatment and feared he would lose his independence. Coincidentally, this month’s The Lantern Project meeting was focussed on oral health and the implications […]

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Is your meal service digitally prepared for the millennials workforce?

A weekend visit to the Digital Futures Lab at the State Library of Queensland reminded me that in 3 years time – 2020 – 50% of the global workforce will be millennials. This will rise to 75% by 2025. Technology dominates every aspect of millennials lives. They will want EaaA (Everything as an App) and to have their smartphone at hand every minute of their working day as […]

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Staff culture aged care dining fish rots from head

Is your dining experience reflected in your staff culture?

There is a saying The fish rots from the head.  Board and leaders set the tone within the company.  Does your dining experience reflect your real culture?   I recently caught up with a colleague who had just installed some kitchen equipment in a residential aged care facility and trained the staff.  He reflected “If they were my staff, I would sack ’em”.  I knew those staff […]

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Chasm functional stakeholders waste constraints

Creating a great dining experience starts with your strategy

Change to the meal service is too often reactive. A dining experience strategy that begins with the end in mind better meets stakeholders needs and keeps residents and their family happy.   With aged care and health constantly under the spotlight, is meeting compliance good enough?   Newspapers and social media trumpet increasing instances where there is public outcry, even though “the perpetrators” have complied with “the […]

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Soft eggs in aged care

50 Shades of Eggs

I love soft cooked eggs! When The Lantern Project recently decided to look at the issue of soft cooked eggs in aged care residential facilities, I wanted to be a part of the team.  Soft eggs is a topic that exasperates staff, traumatises managers and frustrates residents.  There are many layers of people between the hen and the resident who can support or thwart efforts, as this […]

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Benchmark cost of food aged care nursing homes

Could driving down your food budget to meet benchmark cost you more?

According to a national benchmarking company, the average food cost for their benchmarked residential aged care facilities was $6.08 per resident per DAY.    The impact of striving to reach an external  food cost benchmark could  be very risky for managers, chefs and dietitians struggling to produce a nutritious, varied, appealing menu.  It must meet regulatory standards, satisfy residents and an increasingly judgemental family (and a 30-year […]

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aged care meals effect EBITDA and occupancy

Why aged care providers need to be strategic and courageous to prosper

This week I went to the annual Stewart Brown benchmark briefing to hear about their latest survey results of residential aged care and community aged care providers. Why should you benchmark? Understand industry trends you may not be keeping up with Compare your performance with actual data of others Discover what’s driving best practice Make informed strategic decisions The future The big message that came through repeatedly?  […]

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Sippee cup not part of the dining experience in aged care

Do I look like I need a sippee cup?

This is how my meal came to me recently while sharing a meal in a nursing home. While the meal was dished up nicely, I received the items still on the tray and the soup and drink in a sippee cup. In this dining room, all meals are trayed, whether residents are in the dining room or not. They therefore receive their complete meal at once. The […]

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Change management aged care affects meal service

Recalcitrant staff? This could be why

While in Sydney last week, it was recommended I visit Tradies to experience customer service.  After coincidentally driving past their big sign on the fence earlier in the day, I was told no, Tradies is not a tool shop, but a Club (the Trade Union Service Cub). The minute I walked through the door I was warmly greeted by the Customer Service Manager. I told her I […]

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Take Action to Improve the Dining Experience

Why You Must Take Action to Improve the Dining Experience

Are your staff walking the talk of your vision and website statements about the dining experience? Would your residents agree with the words you use to promote your meal service? Does your promotional material reflect what the residents feel they experience? When I undertake a project to improve the quality of the meal service in a facility, I sit and eat and immerse with the residents over […]

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Online Complaints about residential aged care nursing homes

How are you managing your social media stakeholders?

I have been forwarded a facebook post from a young woman who visited a 92 year old in a nursing home. She gave a very descriptive account of how poorly he is being treated – from her perspective. The Provider was named and shamed. 1268 shares later on her facebook page, her message is reaching an ever widening audience. I cant see any response from the facility or very, […]

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Does Catering and hospitality compete with care in nursing homes aged care?

Q: Are meals considered part of “care” in your residential aged care facility?

I was really disappointed yesterday to speak to a Facility Hospitality Manager who said her management considered meal improvement laughable, as anything not care did not matter. How are you incorporating the essence of the meal service and dining experience into the culture of your organisation, right up to Board level? Are you having/seeing similar issues?  Is management letting catering and hotel services fall between the cracks, […]

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Hammond Care, Who murdered the dining experience meal in aged care facilities?

Reduce the Cost of Resident Meals and Improve the Dining Experience? Its possible, and here’s how.

There is hidden waste in every aged care residential facility.  5 examples include: 1.  Production, tray and plate waste. By completing a one-week survey recording the amount of waste of every serving tray and every plate at every meal plus pantry and production waste, one facility went from ordering 2 extra meals to ordering 10 less. This equated to $43,800 per annum, with no impact on quality […]

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Mindfulness for residents in aged care to improve their meal service

5 ways you can immediately improve the dining experience

These simple tips require no capital expenditure or additional labour Gemba Walk. By managers regularly walking through the dining rooms during meal times, residents feel they can express their view in a casual, non-threatening way, reducing bottled up frustration and increasing their satisfaction. By being in “the real place”, managers spot improvement opportunities firsthand.Mindfulness of staff.  Meal time is an experience for residents, not just a process. Look with fresh […]

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Serving hot meals to improve dining experience

How hot’s dinner?

Aged care residents often complain about their meal because it isn’t hot enough when they receive it.  Taking a customer-centric approach to the meal service can ensure they receive a hot meal and satisfies their inner critic.  Over a year, a resident in an aged care facility is served up to 1,095 hot meals.  How many of these meals are presented to them hot without being murdered? […]

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Are you Looking “Outside-In” to Improve Customer Service in the Dining Room?

We are increasingly seeing successful aged care leaders taking an outside-in approach to their meal services. Operating from the perspective of solving problems and delivering value for their residents rather than merely focussing on meeting regulatory requirements and compliance. An outside-in method  to customer service requires a 2 step approach: Build an awareness and understanding of the problems and constraints of your customers. This goes beyond regular […]

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What went wrong?

Risk and Reward Recent adverse media coverage over a leaked internal memo requesting staff return leftover food to the main kitchen to determine if it can be reused is a good example of how a meal service can go horribly wrong. Managing risk may avert such situations but a focus on quality delivers a better reward for all stakeholders, particularly residents. Enhancing the dining experience doesn’t always […]

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Where do you cook their greens?

I love my leafy greens, and often have them 3 meals a day. Regular travel to Russia and China would have my colleagues hunting up restaurants renowned for piles of leafy vegies. I also loved buying fresh herbs, divine sweet juicy tomatoes and incredible crunchy Lebanese cucumbers from Russian Babushkas on the street who sold the fresh produce grown on their tiny Dacha plot for a few […]

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Sensory Garden for Noosa Care Dementia Wing

A visit to Noosa Care’s Carramar dementia wing sensory garden highlights the possibilities that can be achieved to provide a feeling of home for residents and sense of relief for family. Divided into 4 settings of Beach, River, Rainforest and Rural Setting, residents and family can freely stroll and spend time outdoors in gorgeous natural settings. The Rural Setting includes chooks, mens shed and edible garden. The […]

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