Standard 5, Aged Care Quality Standards refers to the safety and comfort of the organisations service environment.
Over the years, we have seen the mealtime experience slowly improve in a number of homes, but we still have a long way to go. Some of the dining rooms are nothing more than a activity room with residents sitting around the perimeter of the room with meals on overway trays. Others have a wonderful environment that is warm, welcoming and oozes the scent of a delicious meal.
We know we enjoy a meal more and are likely to eat more when we are sitting with friends and family. If a resident confines themselves to their room for all their meals this should send some alarm bells and needs to be monitored more closely.
When serving the resident's meal, have a critical look at the dining room. Would you or your loved one like to eat every meal in this environment? Or would you prefer to move away and eat in your room every day?
If you would like to find out what easy things you can do, contact me any time.
It's puzzling why aged care homes are referred to as aged care facilities.
Many official bodies and government departments will refer to these homes as facilities. If we really want to ensure that this is the home for older people, we need to start to change our language and refer to the buildings and organisations as homes. Perhaps we just might to start to make it feel like a home?
The same can said for residents versus consumers. There has been plenty of discussion about which term is right. From our experience, it appears that many people prefer the word resident over consumer. At the end of the day, they are people. Shouldn't we just refer to them as people?
Just some food for thought!
Most people living in an aged care home usually enjoy the dining environment by having their meals with other residents and family members. It's time to have a conversation, some interaction and have some laughs. Carefully managing the COVID-19 pandemic has meant that many residents now have all their meals in their room. It's possible that an unintended consequence of this action may include exacerbation of malnutrition, frailty and possibly pressure areas.
NPA HINT 11.
Try to make residents meal time experience as enjoyable as possible by connecting with their loved ones. Make sure you are aware of their favourite foods and when possible have it available. Have some soothing music playing, have a photo of their family close to their meal while eating. Or even use an app or phone so that they can speak with their family while enjoying their meal. There will be different solutions for different residents. As a way of monitoring the effect on social distancing, you may even need to weigh residents more frequently than monthly.