Access to nutritious and tasty meals is central to client wellbeing and enjoyment – making it a key area for residential aged care and disability service providers to get right.
Meeting the nutritional needs of older adults
There are a number of factors which can impact the nutritional needs and requirements of older adults, such as susceptibility to malnutrition, difficulties faced during food preparation, isolation and depression. Organisations need to consider these factors when preparing nutrition and meal plans for their clients. In addition to their nutritional needs, older clients may also require assistance to consume foods, for example if they have problems swallowing or using their hands.
Meeting the nutritional needs of people with a disability
Based on self-reported data, around forty-seven percent of people over the age of two with a disability eat less than the recommended serving of fruit and vegetables each day (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare). Food and beverages play an important role in the overall health and wellbeing of people with a disability. They can contribute to a person’s quality of life, help maintain a healthy body weight, protect against infection and reduce the risk of clients developing chronic health conditions.
If an organisation outsources their catering to an external provider, they should consider the client’s nutritional needs, preferences and cultural considerations. This includes factoring in client input, choice and independence when choosing the catering service for your organisation.
Providers should also make several considerations when selecting laundry and cleaning service providers for aged care clients. Organisations should consider the chemicals services use, whether staff have undertaken cultural competency training and understand the importance of client dignity and independence, hygiene and infection control standards.
BNG has developed resources on nutrition, meals and hydration based on best practice nutrition guidelines. Additionally, our policy template on hospitality services is a great tool for organisations who outsource laundry, catering and cleaning services.
Find the following resources in the Reading Room:
- Info Sheet: Nutrition, Meals and Hydration
- Policy: Nutrition, Meals and Hydration
- Policy: Hospitality Services