Aged Care

Cooking up improvements in aged care dining experience


In a strategic move to revolutionise aged care dining experiences and bolster residents’ well-being, the Albanese Government is rolling out a free training program aimed at empowering aged care cooks and chefs.

With a substantial $5 million investment in the Maggie Beer Foundation, the Improving Food in Aged Care through Education and Training program has been unveiled, addressing the vital aspect of nutrition for older Australians.

The comprehensive program, spanning three years, presents a multi-faceted approach to enriching food and nutrition quality across the aged care sector. It features online learning modules, a Food Satisfaction Questionnaire, State and Territory Training Hubs, a Trainer Mentor Program and a Professional Community.

All aged care providers are encouraged to participate, fostering a sector-wide commitment to elevating food and nutrition standards.

The initiative aligns with the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission’s new food, nutrition and dining advisory support unit and hotline. The support unit, designed to enhance meal quality and variety, is supplemented by a hotline connecting caregivers with food, nutrition and dining experts, including dietitians and speech pathologists.

Read more: Food hotline launches for aged care concerns

Minister for Aged Care, Anika Wells, affirmed the significance of nourishing food for older Australians’ well-being. “This is part of our approach to help providers and workers upskill and be better educated so they can prepare and serve more delicious and nutritious food to the older people in their care.”

Maggie Beer, renowned chef and founder of the Maggie Beer Foundation, expressed excitement over the partnership with the Department of Health and Aged Care, highlighting opportunities to enhance food experiences for older individuals.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, accompanied by Anika Wells, recently visited Eldercare Seaford to announce this groundbreaking initiative.

Albanese stressed the importance of this initiative in honouring the contributions of older Australians and highlighted the broader improvements being made in the aged care sector.

Similarly, Beer embarks on a transformative mission to improve the lives of older Australians through her latest venture, Maggie Beer’s Big Mission, airing on the ABC network.

In partnership with a team of experts, Beer is leading a comprehensive social experiment aimed at overhauling aged care homes, revitalising meals, the dining experience and the overall environment.

With financing from ABC, Screen Australia, and Screenwest, the show will spotlight Beer’s culinary prowess and determination, as well as address crucial questions about the future of aged care in Australia. The project showcases the power of culinary innovation to enhance the health and joy of aged care residents.

Beer’s partnership with an aged care home that is eager to showcase ongoing improvements demonstrates a commitment to continuous enhancement. The initiative aims to ignite a national conversation and drive positive change, while also delivering a more enriching, vibrant, and compassionate chapter for seniors in Australia.

The show will not only tantalise taste buds but also address important aspects of aged care, showcasing a vision for an improved and compassionate future for the nation’s aged care.

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Ritchelle is a Content Producer for Healthcare Channel, Australia’s premier resource of information for healthcare.


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