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Sunday, July 3, 2022

Dietitians ready to support Govt to serve up better food and nutrition in aged care

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Dietitians Australia says it has been pleasing to hear the Prime Minister and Minister for Aged Care voice their commitment to improving food and nutrition as part of their five-point plan for turning aged care around in Australia.

“We all know someone in aged care, and many of us will end up in these facilities ourselves in later life,” CEO Robert Hunt said.

If the Government wants to ensure aged care residents get access to healthy, nutritious and appealing meals that meet recommended dietary requirements, then Accredited Practising Dietitians have to be at the table to make this a reality.

Dietitians Australia CEO, Robert Hunt

“Mealtimes should be one of the most enjoyable and satisfying parts of the day for residents in aged care.”

“If the Government wants to ensure aged care residents get access to healthy, nutritious and appealing meals that meet recommended dietary requirements, then Accredited Practising Dietitians have to be at the table to make this a reality,” Dietitians Australia CEO Robert Hunt said.

‘Accredited Practising Dietitian’ is the only national credential recognised by the Australian Government as the quality standard for nutrition and dietetics services in Australia.

Dietitians Australia is yet to see the finer details on the Government’s five-point plan, but the leading voice in nutrition and dietetics in Australia has offered its direct assistance to the Government to support them in their goal of making malnutrition in our aged care facilities a thing of the past.

Adding an Accredited Practising Dietitian into the aged care setting helps support kitchen and care staff, helping to provide some relief to an already stretched aged care workforce.

Robert Hunt

“We want to see malnutrition screening mandated across the aged care sector in this country,” Hunt said.

“Our Accredited Practising Dietitians can support and upskill aged care staff in this screening process, allowing us to help those most at risk immediately.”

Hunt said the Government can’t simply throw money at the sector, and that the only way to truly make sure that the investment in aged care is being used for proper care and nutrition is to ensure Accredited Practising Dietitians are involved in developing the on-site menus and engaged to conduct regular mealtime audits.

Accredited Practising Dietitians, Hunt emphasised, must play a lead role when it comes to menu design to ensure quality, appetising food is being served up for residents and that it also culturally appropriate for each individual.

“Adding an Accredited Practising Dietitian into the aged care setting helps support kitchen and care staff, helping to provide some relief to an already stretched aged care workforce,” he said.

“As the leading voice of nutrition in Australia, we will do what we can to support the Albanese Government to bolster major health improvements for Australians in aged care.

When it comes to what is served on their plates, we are here to help.”

For more information, including Dieticians Australia’s position on topical nutrition issues, click here.

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