Nutrition, meals, hydration and hospitality

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.

Hospitality services

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

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To supplement the Aged Care Quality Standards, a number of aged care peak bodies have released detailed guidelines, standards or tools to help providers better service the needs of specific consumer groups.

SPP has been a great resource for understanding and mapping Standards, preparing for Audits and also sourcing resources for policy development. I would recommend it to other organisations to complement their quality and compliance work. Information can be easily shared, and evidence gathered to support all work done.
Community mental health service provider, Victoria
I like the speed and ease of SPP, I love how it maps multiple standards. It’s so convenient, I couldn’t imagine the nightmare to do the work manually. The templates are great for gap analysis. SPP resource templates are great for implementing new policies in the office and for what we do day to day.
Large provider of settlement services to immigrants, New South Wales
I have found the SPP system amazing. It provides a structured way to work through the standards and then provide a succinct report on the evidence being provided for a surveyor to view how we meet the standard. I used this in our recent accreditation survey, the auditor was very impressed, AND we are now accredited for ISO 9001. Thanks again. A great system.
Provider of diverse range of health programs, Queensland
We really like SPP. We use the resources in the Reading Room and couldn't have passed our accreditation with flying colours without SPP.
Advocacy, support and education provider, Australian Capital Territory
Everything is going well with SPP. It’s helped us through three lots of accreditation over the past nine months plus some internal auditing, so I’m very glad to have had it to assist us through the processes.
Large regional multi-service provider, Victoria