Posted in IDDSI

The New Normal!

Posted by Julie Dundon AdvAPD on 29 May 2020

The new normal!

How are you adjusting to the new normal with COVID19? Have you been able to continue staff training?

NPA Nutrition and Aged Care Seminars are highly regarded and we would much prefer to provide this in person........but this just can't be done!

We are pleased to have successfully converted the 2 days into a series of webinars and registrations are now open! Many of the topics are relevant to community providers too.

For many years, NPA has provided complimentary e-learning modules for aged care staff in our contracted aged care homes or subscriptions to other aged care providers.

Providing best-practice evidence-based training for a range of staff is essential to achieve great outcomes for our most vulnerable both in the community and in residential aged care

NPA Hint No.12

Education can be delivered via webinar with staff on their own devices. Training continues to be required during this extended time. All staff need to understand their role and the impact of good nutrition and how they are part of the process. NPA has some affordable online programs that can be accessed by staff at any time, anywhere.

Seminars are now Webinars!

Posted by Julie Dundon AdvAPD on 15 May 2020

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!

Caring for the vulnerable.

Posted by Julie Dundon AdvAPD on 4 May 2020

When modifying the texture of a food, we usually need to add a liquid to get the right consistency.  Unless it is fortified, the nutrient density will be diluted.  These most vulnerable people often don't have a good appetite, even at the best of times. During the time of social isolation, they are likley to experience an even further reduced appetite.   

NPA Hint No. 8

Residents requiring modified texture meals are at even higher risk and need to be carefully monitored, offered suitable nourishing snacks, and given assistance at each meal and each mid meal. It is strongly recommended these residents are weighed weekly to ensure that their intake Is meeting their needs.

Communication is the Key!

Posted by Julie Dundon AdvAPD on 27 February 2020

Residents in an aged care setting must receive the correct meal at the correct time, every day.  

If a resident has a special dietary need, the details are recorded in the resident's care plan and communicated carefully to the kitchen staff to ensure all the dietary limitations are actioned.  More importantly the resident is not unnecessarily restricted and as many choices are provided as possible. We can use a range of communication methods to ensure that this occurs. 

The system for communication between nursing staff and kitchen staff should be effective, simple and safe.  A Dietitian and Speech Pathologist often contribute to this food and nutrition care plan and will also communicate directly with the kitchen staff.  The resident's dietary details list will need to be maintained.  So, when there is a change for a resident, that change is immediately communicated with the kitchen and any lists used are immediately updated.

It must be very clear whose responsibility it is to update all lists to ensure they are accurate and reflect the residents' current dietary needs. These lists must also be referred to whenever providing food or fluids to any residents.

What system of communication do you use? Are you relying on paperwork or do you use a clinical software system? Are you using a dedicated food service software system? Reports from client software packages can ensure that all information is up to date at all times and they can generate usable lists that can be referred to in the kitchen.  A key factor is to keep the system that you use simple. Minimise the number of lists- the more lists there are, the more likely it is that they will not match.

When NPA conduct audits of nutrition care it is very common to find anomalies when comparing the care plans with lists in the kitchen.  Regular audits should be undertaken by the care home to ensure integrity of the information and to provide reassurance that the right meal is provided to the right person.

Delicious Snacks for All!

Posted by Julie Dundon AdvAPD on 9 January 2020

A goal in residential aged care is for residents to enjoy a range of meals throughout the day which includes delicious main meals, mid-meals and drinks.  As our appetite reduces, so the need to provide nutritious snacks becomes even more important.  The mid meal should be appealing and provide the nutrients that are likely to have been missed by having a smaller serve at the main meal. 

Options include:

  • a range of home baked cakes,
  • sweet or savoury baked items like scones and pikelets,
  • savoury plates with cheese and crackers and
  • items based on fruit and dairy foods, such as yoghurt, ice-cream or custard

When a resident commences a modified texture diet (soft, minced and moist or pureed) it is very common to find that mid meals are no longer offered! This can result in weight loss and malnutrition. Sometimes the only options offered are monotonous- the same fruit and custard or yoghurt every day with no variety.  This soon becomes very unappealing and the resident's appetite can fall even further.

We know malnutrition is high amongst those needing modified diets, so the mid meals are even more important to their overall quality of life.   It is important to continually look at interesting ways to present the main meals with molds, piping, layering, but it is also important to give the humble mid-meals the consideration that our residents deserve.

About the Author Nutrition Professionals Australia is a team of Accredited Practising Dietitians who consult to aged care homes across Australia.  They have more than 40 years of combined experience in a range of roles, as Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitians, Food Services Coordinator, Residential Site Manager, Author of Nutrition Manuals and Consultant Dietitian.roles, as Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitians, Food Services Coordinator, Residential Site Manager, Author of Nutrition Manuals and Consultant Dietitian.

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