Dietitians Australia President Tara Diversi joined Minister for Aged Care the Hon Anika Wells MP in Cairns today to welcome and commend the Government’s $12.9 million dollar commitment to better food and nutrition in aged care.
Today's announcement marks the start of a significant Government led engagement of accredited practising dietitians in aged care in Australia.
“Dietitians Australia commends Minister Wells for her courage and integrity, unreservedly progressing what will be looked back on as some of the most significant social reforms of our time.
“As a profession, we’ve been advocating for better food and nutrition in Aged Care since well before the Royal Commission.
“Today’s announcement is momentous for us, it clearly demonstrates this Government is listening to the experts in food and nutrition, accredited practising dietitians, and is committed to taking the actions needed to advance the nutrition needs of Australians in residential aged care.
“The only way to guarantee nutritious food is being eaten in aged care is to engage dietitians and the steps announced today will enable more of us to reach and support nutrition management at the homes where it is needed most.
“We welcome the establishment of a dedicated Food, Nutrition and Dining Advisory Support Unit within the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.
“Residents in care and their families will soon be able to escalate their nutrition concerns through the dedicated food and nutrition hotline, which we hope will bring further light to food and nutrition issues.
“The menu and mealtime quality assessment projects will allow dietitians to offer practical and effective solutions for food service within residential aged care homes, to ensure the food cooked and served meets the dietary and nutritional requirements of residents.
“We are thrilled this funding will include producing dietary guidelines for older Australians, as this is something Dietitians Australia and our allies have long been pushing for.
“Better nutrition in aged care is a health investment that ultimately reduces the risk of malnutrition, dehydration, falls, pressure injuries, wounds, and hospitalisations for residents in care.
“Dietitians are looking forward to working with the Minister and this Government towards a future where Australians in residential aged care are nourished, served food appropriate to their food preferences, swallowing and dexterity needs, and ultimately find joy at every mealtime,” Ms Diversi said.
Click here to read the full details of the Minister’s announcement.