While living in aged care, having a hearty meal can be the highlight of a resident’s day. A good meal can satisfy hunger, lift moods and be a focal point for socialising.

But in aged care, who decides what the residents eat? And how much say do facilities get from those who are eating the meals?

The Lantern Project is about giving aged care residents the quality of life they deserve through good food and nutrition, and through a new initiative,  our #LanternLittleThings series, we’re investigating food innovations in facilities all around Australia.

The opportunity to involve aged care residents in planning and running special events presents a number of great outcomes

  • Resident input – foods will more likely reflect preferences (which can be incorporated into future menus)
  • Helps move away from institutional care to a home-style feel.
  • Invites new conversations, camaraderie and connections amongst aged care workers and residents. The importance of this cannot be emphasised enough.
  • Provides purpose. One of the lessons that stuck out most blatantly from one of our last studies was the importance of purpose in promoting quality of life. Occupation (paid or otherwise) helps define our role in this world and restricting residents from being involved denies a fundamental human need. Ron’s story in our last video was testament to this.
  • Many hands make light work (when the activity is planned well).

So here’s the 5th video in our #LanternLittleThings series – the outcome of our recent Lantern Aged Care Food Safari across 8 aged care organisations in Australia. This one is from the beautiful Northern NSW region – Crowley Care Services. Our mission with this series – search for “Little Things” (minimal cost, easy to implement with a demonstrated BIG impact), document it via a short video and share with the world to hopefully inspire other homes to give it a go. We hope you enjoy.

This article was originally published on LinkedIn

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