You'd be hard-pressed to find an aged care site that doesn't cater to the one in 70 Australians with coeliac disease. The number of diagnosed residents might be relatively low at present, but there could be more residents that would benefit from a gluten free diet.
This week (March 13 to 20) is Coeliac Awareness Week and organisations like Coeliac Australia want us to know that this allergy is more common, yet complex than we realise.
Unfortunately "coeliac disease is a known ‘clinical chameleon’ and, as a result, a diagnosis of coeliac disease is commonly missed, leaving four out of five people undiagnosed".
Symptoms such as tiredness and lethargy, mouth ulcers, gastro-intestinal symptoms, iron deficiency, poor weight gain, dental defects or recent changes in behavior or emotional state can be related to coeliac disease, so it's worth checking if they persist.
Going Gluten Free
Catering to residents with coeliac disease doesn't need to be difficult. Add a new meal to the menu cycle, or substitute an ingredient for a gluten free option.
We've listed a couple of simple recipes to make your aged care catering more allergy inclusive.