Standard 4 of the Aged Care Quality Standards includes the food offered, by way of the menu.
The menu should be viewed as a vehicle for providing the residents with the opportunity to meet their nutrition needs. If it is full of energy dense, low nutrient, commercially prepared foods, we know the resident's nutritional intake will be poor. We also need to balance this with the resident food preferences which can be an interesting challenge and one which NPA APDs have a great deal of experience.
When was the last time your home had the menu audited? Has it been placed on hold over recent months? Has your food supply, or food service team changed? Do you know that your residents receive the correct meal? Is the documentation consistent?
NPA conduct menu audits against the Aged Care Quality Standards, providing a valuable report that guides continuous improvement. The on site visit is for a full day, often 7am to 6pm observing all the activities around food. In some situations, we can provide a remote service.
If you would like to know more about the NPA Menu Audit tool, contact me for your free 15-minute consultation. (email@example.com)
Aged care homes are required under the Aged Care Quality Standards to provide safe and effective personal and clinical care (Standard 3). The care needs to be best practice and tailored the meet the needs of the residents and optimises their health and well-being.
NPA Accredited Practising Dietitians (APD) are very experienced in aged care nutrition. To demonstrate best practice, APDs should be included in the formulation of a nutrition care plan, particularly for residents that are facing nutrition challenges. In our experience, the APD can be bypassed and commercial nutrition supplements are used to 'fix the nutrition'. This is likely to result in a huge expensive to the aged care home. NPA, in most cases will be able to find cost effective, nourishing and enjoyable food solutions - our approach is Food First. For many residents, they would also prefer a food first approach. The APD will tailor the food solution to the residents individual food preferences.
NPA APDs can provide the clinical advice and the food system advice to solve the nutrition challenges without the large commercial supplement costs. Do you know how much you are spending on commercial supplements each month, each year? What are your food costs? What are the costs to the quality of life for residents?
If you would like to learn more about a food first approach and food solutions, contact me for your free 15 minute consultation (firstname.lastname@example.org)
All eight Aged Care Quality Standards can be demonstrated by the food systems and nutrition care in an aged care home.
Standard 2, Ongoing Assessment and Planning with Consumers can be demonstrated by regularly using a validated malnutrition screening tool. Malnutrition screening tools usually include weight and BMI and a range of other factors. Screening tools need to be simple, quick and easy to use but most importantly be validated.
Many electronic client record systems now include them as part of the program. Does your record system have one? Is it a validated tool and provide you with accurate information about your residents? Has your Dietitian assisted with the identification of a malnutrition screening tool?
When reviewing weight changes it's always a good idea, soon after admission, to speak with the resident and or family to really learn about the resident's weight history. Have they recently lost or gained weight, what is their usual weight? This is likely to provide very useful information when completing an assessment.
If you would like to learn more about validated screening tools and find out which is the best one for your situation, you are welcome to contact me for your free 15-minute consultation. (email@example.com)
Using the previous aged care standards, it was always very easy to see where nutrition and hydration fitted. Standard 2.10 and 4.8 related to nutrition and hydration and the food service.
With the recent changes to the standards, food and nutrition now fits across all 8 standards and is not quite as easily identified. Central to all the standards is the residents need for real choice.
Does your menu offer real choice? Where does that occur? When are meal orders taken? The day before, the week before or even the month before? Who takes the orders? How do they communicate with those residents with Dementia? Do the staff just choose for the resident and tick the box?
We know best practice is at the point of service. In these challenging times, choice at the point of service is still possible. It may take some rearranging,a few more resources and some innovation, but well worth the effort.
If you would like to explore some innovative solutions, don't hesitate to contact me for a free 15 minute conversation to help you get on the right track!(firstname.lastname@example.org)
Have you been looking for easy to understand nutrition information for your aged care residents? Are you confused with conflicting nutrition advice?
Well, look no further than the NPA interactive Improving Nutrition Series!
Seminars are now Webinars!
Our popular 2-day program will change this year!
Anne and Julie have refined their Zoom skills and are excited to release the topics and dates for the NPA Improving Nutrition program for 2020. There is a reduced price for all 10 sessions or if you prefer you can register for a selection of sessions.
It has been specifically tailored for aged care staff who have a role in nutrition care or food service.
Delivering this program using Zoom (on a laptop, phone, tablet, at home or work) will provide convenient and easy to access, invaluable information that is needed every day in an aged care home to deliver quality food and nutrition care.
We are looking forward to meeting you again this year- online!
Use the link above and register today. Get those dates into your diary now!