IDDSI. We all know the terminology and the standards are here to stay. Yet less than 50%* of aged care homes have converted from Australian textures to the International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative (IDDSI) standards.
The IDDSI framework is a risk-based system, “providing a common terminology for describing food textures and drink thicknesses to improve safety for individuals with swallowing difficulties”. [i]
While there is time involved in conversion, changes to processes and increased education for staff, there are many reasons to convert to IDDSI that will have a positive impact for staff across both catering and clinical care.
Here are just 5 reasons your aged care site must consider implementing the IDDSI framework.
Protect dysphagia residents and prevent the risk of choking
Food is the cornerstone of a resident’s day. 50% to 75% of residents are affected by dysphagia and if they are over the age of 65, they are seven times more likely to have incidents of choking[ii]. By using the IDDSI standards across catering, care providers can rest easy knowing they are providing safe, nutritious, and delicious food that is appropriate to dysphagia residents – without additional risk!
Create a common language and standards for all staff
IDDSI standards help to create a common language for describing food textures and drink thickness in dysphagia diets, making it recognisable for all staff, not just those in the kitchen. With standardised terminology, staff in all departments understand and recognise the different types of resident diets which aids continuity of training for staff working across various sites.
Take the guess work out of meal planning for texture modified foods
The IDDSI point of service testing methods ensure only appropriate food and drinks are offered to residents, taking into consideration various cooking methods and environmental factors such as temperature and moisture.
SoupedUp software meets the IDDSI standards and incorporates hundreds of recipes and menus to suit residents using this framework. Care providers using SoupedUp Catering software can be confident that textures will map seamlessly from the current standards to the IDDSI standards.
Provide peace of mind to both residents and families
IDDSI standards have been developed from several pilot trails of residents with dysphagia, with safety the number one goal. Using the IDDSI framework for your care catering indicates to both residents and their families that you prioritise the safety of residents with dysphagia. With digital technology like SoupedUp, care homes also have access to digital resident records including catering and clinical information to easily download reports for compliance or family request.
Receive global support from other peak bodies and leaders in aged care
IDDSI standards were designed with the safety of dysphagia residents in mind and just did not come about on a whim. Using the IDDSI framework, you are using global, best practice guidelines tested over many years. You will also have additional support from other peak bodies and leaders in aged care catering such as the Dietitians Association of Australia and Speech Pathology Australia.