The Commission's Food, Dining and Nutrition resources aim to support high-quality, enjoyable food and dining experiences for aged care residents.
The resources will help to build the capability of providers and their staff to identify and act early on areas that impact eating and nutrition. They will help you and your staff to understand why food, dining and nutrition is so important to the health, wellbeing and quality of life of your residents. They will empower residents to know what they can expect from their food and dining experience and influence changes where needed. For information for aged care consumers, visit Food, Dining and Nutrition (consumers) page.
The Commission set up a Food and Nutrition Expert Advisory Group. The Group brings together wide-ranging expertise in the areas of consumer advocacy; cultural and linguistic diversity; nutrition; food preparation and service; speech pathology; dementia care; nursing and wound care; and dental and oral health. They identified 4 priority areas.
Separate provider, aged care staff and consumer resources have been created based on the priority areas. The Expert Advisory Group was key to developing these resources, including testing draft versions with providers and consumers in a series of focus groups.
There will be a total of 4 suites, each containing 6-9 resources, to be released in 2023. They will cover the following topics:
- Oral Health.
Please provide staff and residents with access to these resources and promote them widely.
Planning for change
The Commission's goal planning document is a support tool for providers to plan to improve food, dining, nutrition and consumer choice.
Dining resources - provider and aged care staff
- Dining in residential aged care - tips and tricks fact sheet
- Know, Observe, Support, Act poster
- 8 facts you need to know about each resident poster
- Getting the dining experience right aged care staff fact sheet
- Getting the dining experience right provider fact sheet
- Getting the dining experience right poster
This video outlines how you and your staff can ensure an enjoyable food and dining experience for residents.
Aged Care Learning Information Solution (Alis)
The resources will be supported by the release of Aged Care Learning Information Solution (Alis) modules and short videos throughout late 2022 and early 2023.
Dining resources - consumer
- Your choices matter – resident fact sheet
- Enjoying dining resident fact sheet
- Food and dining preferences sheet
- Your dining experience resident poster
Choice resources – provider and aged care staff
- Supporting choice about food and drink in aged care – aged care staff fact sheet
- Supporting choice about food and drink in aged care – provider fact sheet
- Providing food and dining choice - aged care staff poster
- Food and drink in your aged care – supporting informed choice and risk – aged care staff poster
Choice resources – consumer
- Your right to make choices about food, drink and your experience in residential aged care – resident poster
- Food and drink in your aged care home – resident poster
- Making choices about your food, drink and dining experience – resident fact sheet
Swallowing resources – provider and aged care staff
- Supporting safe and enjoyable mealtimes for people with swallowing difficulties provider factsheet
- Nutrition and texture modified food and drinks provider factsheet
- Supporting safe and enjoyable mealtimes for people with swallowing difficulties aged care staff factsheet
- Nutrition and texture modified food and drinks aged care staff factsheet
- Coming soon – Informed choice and supported decision making for people who plan to Eat and Drink with Acknowledged Risk (EDAR)
Swallowing resources – consumer
- Supporting safe and enjoyable mealtimes for people with swallowing difficulties resident factsheet
- Nutrition and texture modified food and drinks: eating and drinking when you have problems with swallowing resident factsheet
- Coming soon – Informed choice and supported decision making for people who eat and drink when there may be a risk factsheet
Oral health resources – provider and aged care staff
- Supporting daily oral health care in residential aged care provider fact sheet
- Supporting daily oral health care in residential aged care staff fact sheet
- KNOW, LOOK, ACT Recognising and responding to oral health issues in aged care provider fact sheet
- KNOW, LOOK, ACT – Oral Pain aged care staff poster
Oral health resources - consumer
- Looking after your oral health in residential aged care resident fact sheet
- KNOW, LOOK, ACT Your oral health in aged care resident fact sheet
- Caring for your oral health resident poster
Visit the Food, Dining and Nutrition consumers page for information for aged care consumers.
Nutrition during COVID-19
Keeping aged care consumers engaged and healthy is an ongoing priority for all aged care providers, and has never been more important than it is now, during the pandemic. Nutrition deserves close attention in this regard.
Visit Nutrition during COVID-19 to find out some simple steps to prevent, identify and manage malnutrition risk.
A series of webinars is being held to support providers to deliver high-quality, safe and enjoyable food and dining experiences.
The first webinar in the food, dining and nutrition series focused on the dining experience and consumer choice. The recording of this session is available.
The second webinar featured the Commission’s Chief Clinical Advisor in conversation with residential aged care provider Whiddon. They discussed the journey Whiddon has been on to deliver good food and nutrition to residents. The recording of this session is available.
The third webinar discussed the impact of swallowing problems, the use of texture modified diets and consumer choice, and preventative approaches to swallowing and nutrition. The recording of the session is available.
Webinar 4 will be held shortly, and will cover oral health.
What do residents think about the food and dining experience at their residential aged care services?
In 2021-2022, the Commission engaged the Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) to survey residents of residential aged care services across Australia on their food and dining experience. This report, produced by Health Outcomes International (HOI), outlines the key findings of the analysis of these survey results.
Analysis of food and dining experiences in residential aged care services
What innovations are providers using to improve meals, nutrition and the dining experience for consumers at their residential aged care services?
A discussion paper on residential aged care food services was subsequently produced to complement the consumer complaints analysis. This discussion paper was commissioned to review the literature and provide evidence-based practice examples that will support providers to explore new ideas to improve meals, nutrition and the dining experience for consumers at their residential aged care services.
You can access the reports here:
- Discussion paper on residential aged care food services [pdf version]
- Discussion paper on residential aged care food services [web version]
What do complaints tell us about food, dining and nutrition?
In 2021, the Commission engaged Health Outcomes International (HOI) Group to analyse consumer complaints to the Commission about food and dining in residential aged care from 2018, 2019 and 2020. This report clearly identified the same broad priority areas.
We have been asking providers to share positive stories and case studies that share approaches that have led to effective change in their services. We are also interested in creative, innovative suggestions on improving food, nutrition and dining in aged care.
Here are some of the “success stories” and case studies of consumers’ food, nutrition and dining experiences:
We would welcome hearing positive stories and case studies from you, and would like creative constructive suggestions on how we can further improve food, nutrition and dining in aged care.
We are interested to know how you have brought about effective change. Please send through your stories, case studies and ideas to email@example.com. This, with feedback from the webinars, will inform further engagement and education activities for the broader sector.
You can also send any supporting videos, photos or other visual material (ensuring first that you have secured the permission of any people featured in videos and photos to share their image).