Restoring the joy of a shared meal to our aged care residents while ensuring the best nutrition is a focus for our hotel services teams.
Many aged care residents, particularly people with dementia or with compromised health, have trouble chewing and swallowing and require a minced or pureed food diet.
Illness and medications can further affect the enjoyment of food, so creating appealing, nutritious meals with natural colours and tempting flavours and aromas is important to boost appetite.
Bolton Clarke Galleon Gardens, Currumbin Waters Chef Manager Loretta Reiken says about 20 per cent of residents are on a texture modified diet, and this is expected to increase to about 60 per cent within the next five years.
That’s why our teams at Galleon Gardens and at Darlington, Banora Point and Talbarra, Waterford have successfully introduced moulded food for residents on minced and moist or pureed diets, making meals more appetising by keeping the natural flavour and colour while altering the texture.
Now, they’ve taken up the challenge of expanding their texture modified range to morning teas and desserts, with spectacular results – new items that have received the tick of approval from a speech pathologist include a Oreo-style cookie, a scone with jam and cream, finger-food fruit pieces, pizza and no-melt ice-cream.
“We need to push the limits with texture-modified food,” Loretta says.
“The biggest items residents on texture-modified diets miss out on are bread, food and salad items.
“We’ve been working on items including moulded fruit finger food, or “walking food”, for people with dementia, and things like moulded cherry tomatoes made from fresh tomatoes.
“It’s been a long process to get the right textures and flavours, but it is always worth the effort if residents start enjoying their food and putting on more weight again.”
Find out more about Bolton Clarke’s texture-modified food innovation in our Year in Review.