Australian chef Maggie Beer and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese paired up for a visit at a South Australian aged care facility to launch their new collaborative food and nutrition aged care initiative.
The pair were joined by Aged Care Minister Anika Wells, Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth at Eldercare’s Seaford facility on Tuesday to spend time in the kitchen, have afternoon tea with residents and announce The Maggie Beer Foundation Aged Care Cook and Chef Support Program.
The program is comprised of 11 free modules aimed to give cooks and chefs working at aged care facilities accessible training to improve the food and nutrition they are serving up to residents – making a direct impact on residents’ health and well-being.
Successful completion of one or more modules gives you access to the Professional Community and participants receive a certificate of completion for each successful module.
At the launch, Ms Beer praised those working in the aged care food space which she described as highly “specialised” work.
“People are working so hard and I do not come across anyone who doesn‘t want to change but to be able to change we need this education […] We need these skills that are very particular to those cooking five meals a day, three meals and two snacks a day, that have to be full of protein, full of goodness.”
“It’s the fresh quality, local produce that I know Eldercare focuses on when they bring those food and nutrition [ideas] to their preparation here at Seaford.”
Mr Albanese referred to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety’s recommendations about food and nutrition quality improvement and that this program will play a part in the Australian Government’s response to the findings.
“We needed to do much better, and we are doing much better […] This program is an important component because what this shows is respect for our older Australians, our Australians who built this country,” he said.
It’s a big week for food in aged care and Ms Beer who announced the filming of her new ABC television show Maggie Beer’s Big Mission. The show will follow Ms Beer’s quest to overhaul a Perth aged care home by transforming its meals, the dining experience and the dining room surroundings to improve the health of residents.
The first eleven online modules of The Maggie Beer Foundation Aged Care Cook and Chef Support Program are now available online at the Maggie Beer Foundation website but spots are limited so register your interest as soon as possible.