The $10 increase to the basic daily fee is here.
As of 1 July 2021, aged care sites are beginning to receive funding to go towards resident services such as food, nutrition, linen, and cleaning.
But what exactly does this mean for residents? How will the money towards catering impact their daily lives and improve their mealtime experience? How can this funding benefit kitchen staff already under extreme time pressure?
SoupedUp CEO and Founder, Belinda Adams, shares her insights into the recent federal budget allocation and how putting just 2% of the new basic daily fee supplement towards catering technology can take catering from something average to something AMAZING.
Food suited to dietary, cultural and clinical needs
Food is at the heart of every care home. The production, delivery and service of food punctuates a resident’s day, every day, all day.
With 6 food textures, 5 fluid thicknesses, 10 cultural preferences and 100 allergies, dislikes and intolerances, 6 times a day, 365 days a year – 65 million meal combinations annually make care catering complex!
“Enabling care home residents to have choice over what they eat is paramount, but it’s also vital that every mouthful is suited to their dietary, cultural and clinical needs” says Belinda, Founder of SoupedUp.
Implementing catering software as part of the technology enhancements to a site, enables staff to meet these multiple demands while simultaneously providing the best resident experience.
More Choice Without The Risk
Moving from traditional paper based dietary management to digital gives residents a world of choice when it comes to meal options– without the risk!
Catering software such as SoupedUp incorporates active resident meal blocking based on meal textures and 15 declarable allergens, plus an additional 140 restrictions.
The ability to incorporate a texture modified or dementia specific menu in with a site’s current menu, as well as access to over 1400 recipes further enhances resident choice.
“Not only does technology streamline the ordering process for staff, but it also ensures residents are presented with the correct food texture and only see recipes on the menu that are suitable and safe” says Belinda.
Better Quality Of Ingredients Without Additional Costs
Time saved on manual data entry can be transferred to the kitchen.
Up to 70% of a carers time is spent on food preparation, service, cleaning, and documentation, resulting in a costly exercise if done inefficiently.
Next to labour, catering is one of the biggest cost expenditures for residential aged care homes. With smart technology, it doesn’t have to be.
“High quality food doesn’t have to be expensive. With the right catering software in place, providers can make huge savings with menu management and planning, dietetic certification, food service delivery and documentation for auditing, resulting in fresh meals… even on a $10 per bed per day budget” says Belinda.
The inclusion of fresh, healthy food and improved quality means happier residents, fewer complaints and increased recommendations, and positive feedback from families.
Less Invasive Clinical Reviews Through Streamlined Integration
Undoubtedly, the health and wellbeing of residents is paramount, and monitoring is required. However, if clinical information must be continually obtained from nurses, kitchen staff and administration, residents will suffer from medical information fatigue.
“Residents are poked and prodded daily for their clinical information and will dread this time of day. Adding food to the equation, like sitting down for a cup of a tea, is an opportunity to make it much less invasive” says Belinda.
The additional 40 minutes of Registered Nurse (RN) time with residents will also impact the documentation and paperwork required, leaving less time for personalised care.
If food data were obtained digitally, catering and clinical details could be streamlined, reducing the need for unnecessary additional poking and prodding of residents and allowing nursing staff more time.
Industry Leading Catering Services Via Innovative Technology
Digitalising resident dietary management will improve resident experience. In doing so, it will bring food to the forefront of residential care and enable providers to deliver best in class catering services.
“The introduction of the quality star rating system shows quality is an industry focus. Technology is vital if sites want to benchmark their food related services against others. Without it, they’re missing valuable opportunities to increase and retain occupancy” says Belinda.
The Federal Budget funding has highlighted a shift towards making food services transparent.
“Catering should no longer be seen as ancillary, but as a core part of a resident’s day. Technology funding is one step towards this becoming a reality” Belinda concluded.