Jan 23, 2016

Food Quality in Nursing Homes – Can Facilities Give Residents Their Cake and Eat It too?

Short-cutting on health and quality food delivered when it is wanted and needed to residents in aged care facilities is most probably costing more than it is saving, ignoring the basic quality of life entitlements our elderly should expect and be afforded.

Nutrition research and studies in wellness and preventative health have demonstrated the impact poor diet, exercise and nutrition have on physical health but, as it becomes more and more important with age, for mental health too. Feeling tired, heavy or lethargic is often associated with poor diet, exercise or sleep habits. Lifestyle matters. It is not about wealth or ‘things’ to make improvements, but about simple focus on quality and good decisions.

For aged care operators, there is often a large gap between the clinical insights gained by nurses, carers and facility staff from direct interactions with residents that is not effectively or able to be communicated to management and corporate head offices.

Resident satisfaction of food quality and experience in a facility does not need to be solely tested on or by the residents in the facility to assess their satisfaction where data can be relative and the feedback impacted by many factors. No, no longer. Facility operators and aged care providers that really want to demonstrate the high quality and nutrition standards of their food would be wise to have management and clinical staff alike routinely eat the same food and dishes produced by their kitchens or suppliers for their residents and conduct regular surveys on their experiences. They could rate and review the food and market and promote their findings.

nursing home food

Do you work in an aged care facility? Do you eat the same dishes and food that is served to the residents in the facilities?

Are you a family member of a resident in a facility or one looking to enter a facility? Why not ask the management and staff in your next facility tour or inspection if they eat with the residents the same food and how they find it? Their answers can be very telling on many levels.

If you find this confronting, why so?

Shouldn’t we allow our vulnerable and dependent elderly to experience the same quality of food for the preservation of good health to maximise their lifestyle in the simplest way we all know how, a good healthy and hearty meal with friends on a regular basis, as we would expect or look forward to for ourselves in our own lives?

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