Yvonne Murfet posted a photo on social media of her mother’s unappetising meal.
The image showed one scoop of unidentifiable yellow mash and a cut-up sausage covered with a watery red sauce.
Murfet’s mother is a resident of Fairway Rise aged care home, which is owned by not-for-profit aged care provider Southern Cross Care Tasmania.
Murfet wrote, “The meal was cold and inedible and a choking hazard and was returned to the kitchen with no alternative meal forthcoming.”
“I don’t expect gourmet meals but I do expect my mother to be treated with dignity, respect and care along with being provided with nutritious, edible meals.”
Murfet said she is “forever grateful” to the care staff who look after her mother, but she felt compelled to speak up about “poor conditions or food decisions [made] by management.”
Murfet’s post was picked up by The Mercury and sparked a storm on social media.
“Disgusting,” one angry commenter wrote.
“Disgraceful,” said another.
“OMG. They must be so hungry,” observed one.
“Not much nutritional value in that! Where are the greens? If they are going to serve small meals, at least give them something of better quality which is heated,” wrote one commenter.
Some noted the meals they see in aged care are better quality.
“l have worked in an aged care facility in Queensland. This would not make it out of the servery,” wrote one.
Murfet is encouraging others concerned about problems in aged care to speak up.
“Our elderly deserve better,” she wrote.
Food quality is one of several issues Murfet has taken up with Southern Cross Care Tasmania management in recent months.
Murfet plans to lodge an official complaint with the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.
Fairway Rise was assessed by the regulator in March 2021 and passed all 44 aged care quality standards.
A spokesperson for SCC Tasmania told HelloCare the company provides “excellent and appropriate” meals for all residents at Fairway Rise.
“Showing one part of one meal is not an accurate depiction of the meals we serve,” they said.
“Meals are endorsed by dieticians and cooked by chefs, and residents are given an opportunity to have their say.”
The spokesperson continued, “Lunch is the main meal of the day and includes two hot options, two cold options and two options for dessert. The evening meal is smaller, and includes a soup entrée, hot and cold option main courses and two dessert options. Lunch and dinner are served with vegetables.”
They added, “Breakfast has hot and cold options. Sandwiches and savoury muffins are served for morning and afternoon tea and supper. Fresh fruit and other snacks are available at all times.”
The provider will “always investigate” complaints made by residents or families, they said.
You can also raise awareness in your workplace today.
October 4-8 is Malnutrition Week.
The Malnutrition Week ANZ toolkit are free, downloadable resources, flyers and social media tiles for healthcare professionals to help you raise awareness of malnutrition in your work setting. To access, click here.
For easy meal ideas for older Australians, click here to download a free recipe eBook, featuring over 20 meal ideas for breakfast, lunch and dinner, nutritious snack ideas, plus a shopping list.