Food an important aspect of daily living
Imagine home cooked meals like you had at home…tasty, flavoursome, and made with love. Well this is what Meracare offers on a daily basis. If you take a look at our two homes Carrum Downs Nursing Home and Frankston Nursing Home, fresh tasty food that coincides with your food choices and preferences are the norm here are Meracare.
The Aged Care sector undergoes very strict food safety audits as we deliver food to very vulnerable people. Meracare’s kitchen staff all have a food handling certificate and are well versed in delivering a high standard of service to our residents. Along side our staff we have fully equipped kitchens able to cater for large numbers. But one of the most important aspects of our kitchen is our menu as this gives our residents the dignity and independence, to chose the food they prefer to eat on a daily basis.
Meracare’s menu starts with consultation with our residents where they inform us of their likes and dislikes. Through this consultation process we gain valuable insight into their choices and preferences for the menu. It is this process that enables our residents “to make informed choices about their care and services, and live the life they choose” (Australian Government: Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission. Guidance and Resources for Providers to support the Aged Care Quality Standards. P. 6) Meracare also holds focus food meetings 4 times per year as each seasonal menu changes to ensure preferences are met.
The menu is scrutinised and critiqued and a selection of food choices is formed that resembles choice and preferences of our residents. A final menu is then created and sent to an external nutritionist for review “to ensure enough nutrition us provided to maintain life and good health and reduce the risks of malnutrition” (Australian Government: Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission. Guidance and Resources for Providers to support the Aged Care Quality Standards. P. 108)
Meracare has a long-established relationship with local butchers, markets, all of which are small operators whom we get our fresh produce from. It is not uncommon to see fresh boxes of fruit, vegetables and meat coming in the kitchen door. Having fresh food and enjoying the benefits of having our very own cooks enables our residents to eat the food that has been cooked today, nothing is frozen and reheated which is a massive bonus for our residents. Think of all those added flavour and nutrients that you get when food is cooked fresh.
Meracare hopefully is leading the way with delivering fresh, home cooked meals that are tailored to our resident’s choices and preferences. We hope to continue our consultation process and ensure that everyone has a balanced nutritional meal and ensure that we source the best ingredients through local avenues.
Written By: Melanie Zwagerman
Australian Government: Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission. (2019) Guidance and Resources for providers to support the Aged Care Quality Standards. Retrieved from Australian Government: Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission website: https://www.agedcarequality.gov.au/resources/guidance-and-resources-aged-care-quality-standards-providers