Covid, the Aged Care Quality Standards, and the International Dysphagia Diet Standardization Initiative, have all made a significant impact on the dining habits of our elderly residents. Now, instead of being aged care providers, chefs prepare meals for their consenting customers, who can choose the meal they prefer. How can you manage time and resources while still meeting the required standards?
Malnourishment in our nursing homes
Research shows that half of Australian residents are malnourished. There are many reasons for this, from poor food presentation and service to poor eating habits and chewing problems. For decades, swallowing a vitamin tablet was a quick fix. But government standards and the Royal Commission into Aging expect a lot more from food providers.
How can your kitchen implement the Quality Standards
The most significant change for service providers comes from the shift away from institutionalized terms like ‘residents’ and ‘patients’ to a ‘consumers or ‘customers’. The priority is the person. This means that there is more choice for the consumer’ when it comes to chefs and hospitality staff. The new Aged Care Quality Standard states that “where meals are provided they are varied and of suitable quantity and quality.” This means that chefs must offer more than one option and be visually appealing.
The Dining Experience
The presentation of the room can make a meal more enjoyable. You can add tablecloths, cutlery , food presentation boxes , table decorations, and menus to your dining room. There is plenty of space for everyone to move around between the tables. Even if you have to serve in two places. Enjoying a themed lunch, such as a Sunday roast or BBQ, adds to the enjoyment of the meal and positively impacts one’s well-being. The presence of a menu on the table gives the consumer a sense of anticipation and allows them to make their own choices. A person in an aged care facility will benefit from having some control over what they eat, even if it is chicken or beef.