As part of the Aged Care reform, the Department of Health and Aged Care (DoHAC) are undertaking a review of the Quality Standards. On the 3rd November 2022 the DoHAC held a focus group to seek feedback on the draft Quality Standards – Standard 6: Food and Nutrition from consumers, aged care providers and workers.
Standard 6: Food and Nutrition
The draft Standard 6 draws on elements of Standard 2 – Ongoing assessment and planning with consumers and Standard 4 – Services and supports for daily living of the current Quality Standards.
The intention of Standard 6 – Food and Nutrition, is to ensure that older people have an improved quality of life in regard to food, drink and their dining experiences. This Standard draws on Standard 3 to ensure providers are delivering food services that align with the older person’s needs, goals and preferences which are determined through robust and comprehensive assessment and planning. It also draws on Standard 5, ensuring appropriate monitoring and response for malnutrition and dehydration.
The Standard significantly strengthens the requirements around food, nutrition and hydration including;
- Partnering with older people to provide a quality food services
- Assessing each person’s nutritional needs, including what and how the person likes to eat and drink
- Provision of food and drink, including menu design, choice and flavourful meals
- Providing an enjoyable dining experience
Standard 6 – Overview
Expectation statement for older people
I receive plenty of food and drinks that I enjoy. Food and drinks are appetising, nutritious and safe, and meet my needs and preferences. The dining experience is enjoyable, includes variety and supports a sense of belonging.
6.1: Partnering with older people on food and nutrition
The provider partners with older people to provide a quality food service, which includes appealing and varied food and drinks and an enjoyable dining experience.
6.2: Assessment of nutritional needs and preferences
The provider understands the specific nutritional needs of older people and assesses each older person’s current needs, abilities and preferences in relation to what and how they eat and drink.
6.3: Provision of food and drink
Older people have food and drinks that are appetising, flavoursome and nutritious, have variation and choice about what they eat and drink and are able to eat and drink as much as they want.
6.4: Dining experience
Older people are supported to eat and drink and enjoy the dining experience.
It is important that older people feel supported to be actively and safely involved in the preparation of food and drinks where they choose. The dining experience should enable choice while promoting social engagement.
Providers must ensure each older persons individual needs are considered as part of the nutritional assessment and planning process.