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More Than a Menu

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In Catholic Healthcare's Residential Aged Care Homes, food is one of the highlights of a resident's day.

As such, we offer nutritionally balanced meals and focus on the dining experience for residents including the atmosphere, cutlery and crockery, adequate staff for assistance with meals, food presentation, temperature, texture and taste.

Sheridan Fredericks, Catholic Healthcare's Hotel and Support Services Manager says, "With a strong focus on nutrition, health and wellbeing, our accredited dieticians approve all seasonally developed menus with fresh produce. We prepare a menu guide for all our chefs, but the final menus are tailored on site at each Home with input from the residents and their families. The chefs aim to cater to the needs and tastes of our residents which has a positive impact on their mood and wellbeing.

"We also get inspiration from renown cook, Maggie Beer and chefs like Peter Morgan Jones and Amanda Orchard who improve the food experiences for senior Australians living in aged care homes. We follow the Australian Dietary Guidelines for people over seventy and take advice from the independent advisory group, Dietician Centre, Leading Nutrition."

Head chef at the newly opened Holy Spirit in Casula​, Dimitar Stavreff (pictured above), takes a particular interest in preparing home-style meals which are familiar, appealing and nutritious.

"Food is such an important part of our lives," says Dimitar who has over 25 years' experience as a chef. "Holy Spirit will have over 100 residents living at the Home, all with their own tastes and food preferences. My vision is to provide fresh, home-style meals inspired not only by traditional Australian favourites but also cultural dishes loved by the residents who come from a variety of backgrounds.​

"I have finalised my first menu featuring meals such as chicken cacciatore, New York meatloaf and veal schnitzel. We will also have Atlantic salmon fillets with hollandaise and seared lamb cutlets, plus vegetarian options and meals catered for residents with special dietary requirements. In aged care we need to keep in mind changes to palates due to medications and swallowing, and I have skills in preparing textured modified food for residents requiring this service."

"I'm looking forward to cooking and serving the meals and snacks which are such a big part of a Home's daily routine. Residents will be able to select from at least two options for each meal. If a meal doesn't suit, we will find an alternative. The aim is to be flexible and take on resident feedback so everyone can have input into the menus."

Once residents have settled in at Holy Spirit, Dimitar will arrange food focus meetings to gather feedback, discuss what's working or brainstorm possible alternatives which still meet aged care nutritional standards. These food focus meetings will take place regularly as new residents move into the Home.

"I'll also be working with the Home's lifestyle officer to hold special cultural food days, food to match theme days like St Patrick's Day or Melbourne Cup Day, and we have a great BBQ area ready to go."

For more information on Holy Spirit, Casula visit - catholichealthcare.com.au/residence/holy-spirit-casula/