Category Archives: Uncategorized

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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Could adequate nutrition add 37 million care hours for residential aged care?

While reviewing my digital solution to measuring food consumption, I quantified the problem and solution. It is estimated that 40-70% of the elderly experience malnutrition or the risk of malnutrition. This can lead to many issues including increased risk of frailty, falls, illness, injury, dementia, behavioural issues, reduced quality of life and premature death. Malnutrition can result from not eating enough food throughout the day, caused by […]

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What Nick Ryan told us at The Lantern Project on new Standard 1

October’s #TheLanternProject attendees had the privilege of listening to Australian Aged Care Quality Agency CEO Nick Ryan explaining the significance of the new Quality Standard 1 – Consumer Dignity and Choice and its impact on meals and the dining experience (Standard 4) in aged care. Nick explained that the current standards are 20 years old, and were predominantly discussions between government and providers. The consumers were not […]

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Your residents are not a homogeneous group

“Don’t worry dear, you will get used to it”.  “It takes a while to settle in and get used to the way things are done around here.”  These are comments I frequently hear residents telling new residents in aged care facilities. For many aged care homes and providers, tasks and a focus on compliance and safety still beat the drum.  Person-centred care is the dream but far […]

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She really is capable, you know

My 54 yo sister just moved into aged care after being accidentally hit by a car. She was already wheelchair bound with an MS like condition. No longer can Mum manage – becoming a carer at 83. First impressions for my sis were the keenness of staff to do everything for her. Cut her food, put a clothing protector on her, push her around in the wheelchair, […]

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Pivoting your aged care meal service into the 21st Century

Recently, Dr Bill Thomas, Founder of The Eden Alternative spoke at the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency Better Practice Conference.  Bill had a very clear message:  we must ditch our current care methodology – WHAT YOU NEED.  This one way offering of competently providing the best services and support we think you need – services that are most easily monetised, measured and available for reimbursement.  People are less […]

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Innovating menu residential care

Are you tweaking or transforming your menu offering?

In residential aged care I often see similar meal offerings: 4 week revolving Dietitian-approved seasonal menu 1 or 2 hot choices for the main meal Morning and afternoon tea Soup in the evening Fish on Fridays Salad or sandwich for alternatives Standard meal hours Meals fresh cooked onsite Qualified Chef onsite  Here are some ways to innovate your menu offerings: Rolling menu – Creating and introducing a […]

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Why improving the meal service is like playing chess

Too often improving the meal service can seem like winners and losers in a Chess game, with some moves knocking out the other side (staff, residents, family) and unintentionally compromising other parts of the meal service (quality, safety, compliance). Each “move” or idea should progress the service forward, without unintended consequences for the next move and other pieces of the strategy. With 45+ “functional stakeholders” who can […]

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