Breaking bread or sharing a meal together is the sustenance of life. It can evoke joyful memories of childhood mealtimes and special dinners celebrated with loved ones.
For those in residential aged care, food and the dining experience are foundational to health, wellbeing, and quality of life as well as overall experience within the Home[i].
Catholic Healthcare has incorporated the findings from The Australian Government and the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission to improve food, nutrition and the dining experience in our Homes. These included the need to increase key nutrients in food, to prevent malnutrition, and maintain muscle mass and bone health[ii]. It is equally important to foster social and emotional connectedness and to provide a sense of enjoyment, cultural identity and autonomy over food choice.[iii]
In October Catholic Healthcare introduced surveys to capture residents’ food and dining experience via a touchscreen Samsung tablet strategically placed in the Home's dining room.
Each day, a new question appears for the residents to answer, with residents providing feedback by selecting an emoji rating scale and completing an optional comment.
(Left to Right): Always (Dark Green), Most of the time (Pale Green), Half Half (Yellow) Sometimes (Orange), Never (Red).
The survey is available in 35 languages and responses are classified into breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Since launching, 2,337 responses have been captured from all Homes on topic areas such as menu, meal quality, meal service, dining environment, enablement (access, support and comfort during meals) and visitors (comfort inviting visitors to Home, tea and coffee availability, space for entertaining).
Pleasingly, responses so far show that more than half of the respondents were ‘always’ happy with their food and dining experience.