Aug 12, 2019

Meeting the nutrition needs of Indigenous Elders

Dietitians highlight the importance of communication to provide nourishing and culturally appropriate foods in residential aged care. New research presented today at the Dietitians Association of Australia 36th National Conference uncovers how engaging both staff and Elders was key to optimising the food served to Indigenous Elders, living at a residential aged care home.

Final year Latrobe University dietetic students undertook a review of the food service system. From this, Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) Rebecca Monk supported changes to be made to the food service, to better meet the needs to the Elders. Consulting all involved helped to uncover Indigenous Elder food preferences, increasing satisfaction towards meals.

“As many Indigenous Elders had an urban upbringing, meals including fish, pasta bolognaise, and barbeques were rated highly. This underlined the importance of tailoring the menu to the needs of the Elders, rather than assuming traditional foods would be preferred,” said Monk.

Monk emphasises how environmental factors contribute to promoting a safe and enjoyable setting for Elders and highlights the important role of food in continuing connection to country.

“Community days and involvement in food preparation is highly regarded by the Elders and incorporating these into mealtimes, through family barbeques and damper making has been integral in fostering a sense of belonging,” said Monk.

With the risk of malnutrition increasing with age, Indigenous Elders are also predisposed to developing chronic diseases such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. This draws further attention to the importance of providing nourishing food and the need to support Elders with a better understanding of nutrition.

“Regularly communicating with Elders about the food served, increased their expectation and understanding of their meals. This knowledge is then passed on to the younger generation, helping promote healthy habits for all.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


New report: Company contracted to administer vaccine to aged care residents only – not staff

The healthcare company tasked with rolling out the vaccine in Victoria has revealed it was never contracted to administer the vaccine to staff in aged care homes – only to give them leftovers once residents had received theirs. “Was it only ever a vaccine-dregs-for-staff arrangement?” Read More

“Thank you is not enough”: Aged care workers speak out

Aged care workers across Australia have been speaking out about the challenges they face, and they are telling the government: ‘Thank you is not enough.’ Read More

Caring for people living with dementia: How to overcome objections to showering

It is a common problem for carers that people living with dementia refuse to take a shower. What are some ways to help overcome the objections, and turn showering into a pleasant experience? Members of our Aged Care Workers Support Group shared their tips and advice. Read More