Ngaire Hobbins is an experienced dietitian that has been working in the aged care sector for some years.
When it comes to the importance of food for the healthy functioning of the body and brain, she has championed the importance of nutrition for seniors.
In order to deeply progress as a sector, all who work in aged care have the opportunity to enter into discussion and learning so as to ensure the best quality care for the elderly in our society.
Far from being in the rat race and having the resources and strength to have their voice heard, it is paramount that all involved in senior care adopt the stance of listening, learning and leading when it comes to ensuring the best for our residents.
Part of that conversation is learning and listening about nutrition, food and ways to improve how cuisine operates in all our facilities.
Hobbins argues that there is significant ignorance surrounding the facts of nutritional consequences when it comes to the well-being of residents.
She highlights that the industry at large needs to comprehend that a lack of support grievously impacts residents.
What for many residents is the highlight of their day can be taken away and the consequences of nutritional deficit has been found to have wider implications.
Costs to the system through increasing calls for resources in wound care, greater tendency for falls, infection, illness and other complex outcomes negatively affect the running of a facility and of course, the quality of life for many residents.
Being in a position to see the consequences of nutritional deficiency on human life and facility management is an important position for aged care personnel to engage in.
Hobbins, as well as many other health care professionals, have shown through research and scientific studies that diet partnered with exercise can have tremendously encouraging effects on the mind and body.
In conjunction with that knowledge, Hobbins highlights that where there is physical activity and social interaction, excitedly there is increased quality of life and importantly, increased food intake.
As many residents age and suffer from various conditions, there is a decided drop in appetite.
This trend can affect nutrients entering the body, and assisting with the very conditions which are suppressing appetite, as well as hindering vital elements of strength and energy.
It must be acknowledged that ensuring nutrition changing lives in aged care means addressing multifaceted challenges.
From ensuring food quality remains high, to managing appetites and behaviour, many experts agree that this is a complex issue that nonetheless needs the industries attention, support and troubleshooting willingness.
Our aged care sector has the important responsibility to care for some of Australia’s most vulnerable.
Integral to the well-being of many residents is the food that they have access to and importantly the actual consumption and nutritional absorption of that food.
At national, state and local levels, those of us involved in the aged care sector have the opportunity to be mindful of food and its central place in the lives of our residents.
We have the opportunity to partner with dietitians, logistics personnel, government and each other, not on sporadic occasions but sustained partnerships, to create real progress and change for those that rely on us.
Considering aged care for yourself or a loved one? We’re here to help.