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Provider launches Montessori food service


Villa Maria Catholic Homes’ moves towards a buffet-style approach to food delivery

Victorian aged care provider Villa Maria Catholic Homes is rolling out a new model of food delivery across its residential aged care facilities that encourages more independence and engagement among residents at meal times.

The new approach follows the Montessori model, which is based on self-directed activity, hands on learning and collaboration.

In aged care, the approach aims to empower individuals to become more independent and have a meaningful place in their community, as well as provider them more choice.

Villa Maria Catholic Home facilities are using the approach in dining rooms by changing how food is presented including moving away from a traditional dining room to offering a buffet-style experience.

Villa Maria Catholic Homes hospitality residential and retirement services manager Wayne Wallis said the approach better involves residents with their care.

“Montessori is about building on residents’ strengths by looking at what they are capable of doing and ensuring that they are able to do it for as long as possible,” Mr Wallis said.

Among the benefits of the Montessori approach to food services is that residents can choose the food and the portion size they want, he said.

The Montessori model also encourages residents to get involved in their meals by allowing them to set tables, fold napkins and cutting vegetables.

“Essentially it is about residents feeling like they are part of a community and that they can contribute to that community. In the process, they are maintaining skills, staying socially active and feeling engaged,” Wallis said.

Food is an important part of happiness to a person’s health and wellbeing in residential aged care, he said.

Implementation of the Montessori model is underway at all 12 of Villa Maria Catholic Homes residential aged care facilities.

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3 Responses to Provider launches Montessori food service

  1. Mary Whelan February 22, 2019 at 11:46 am #

    well done Wayne! – it is fantastic to see that at long last something is happening within food services models to meet the needs of Residents. congratulation to all! Mary Whelan

  2. MARY VINEY February 23, 2019 at 5:08 pm #

    well done Wayne, it needs to come to WA. As you said food is an important social event and people need to be involved with options and according to abilities. It reminds me of an elderly grandaunt in my childhood home 1940s who prepared the vegetables / salads every afternoon. Mornings were socialising, lunch and nap and prayer time included in resting, then 4pm and meal preparation. Family were all female during war and aged from 85 to 5. Children knew where to get a treat from.

  3. Louise Galea February 24, 2019 at 6:55 pm #

    This is fabulous. 4 years ago I put forward an outline to my group in this style of serving food, especially in our more independent area of residents. I have also put forward an outline of Breakfast At Anytime – with more residents transitioning to living with advancing Dementia, the idea is that due to circadian rhythm disturbances to offer breakfast when a person awakes, if that is 2.00 in the morning then a small bowl of cereal, maybe toast, a cup of tea and help settle the resident back to bed, even offer a shower. Then in the morning no need to wake up at the designated hour that the home dictates. Again, not supported. The industry continues to talk about Elder Centred Care, putting the decisions in the hands of the residents but that is just not realty. Glad to see changes in the more open minded homes

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