Maggie Beer’s big aged care mission

Celebrity chef and author Maggie Beer is fronting a television program that aims to improve the dining experience for residents of an aged care home.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Minister for Aged Care Anika Wells were joined by celebrity chef and author Maggie Beer in South Australia yesterday to launch the Improving Food in Aged Care through Education and Training program.

Appearing at an Eldercare facility in Seaford in Adelaide, Mr Albanese said: “One of the things about the aged care royal commission was that they said that aged care residents simply weren’t getting the nutrition and the meals that they needed.”

In response, the government’s inaugural budget in October 2022 set aside $5 million over three years for the Maggie Beer Foundation to improve food and nutrition in residential aged care.

With that aim in mind, the foundation has developed a program that includes:

  • online learning modules
  • food satisfaction questionnaire
  • state and territory training hubs
  • trainer mentor scheme
  • professional community.

All aged care providers are invited to participate in the three-year program, which will help facilities meet the food and nutrition aged care quality standard.

Speaking of the online learning modules – which were launched last year and now accessible for free here – Ms Wells said they would “allow cooks, chefs, and kitchen assistants … to get the training that they so desperately want to be able to bring a higher level of food and quality of life to the residents that they love to care for in aged care facilities across the country.”

The initiative, added Ms Wells, “is just one prong in what the Albanese Labor Government is doing to lift the quality of food in residential aged care.”

Other measures include a $13 million Food, Nutrition and Dining Advisory Support Unit, and a food hotline.

Ms Beer commended the government for its continuing efforts to improve the dining experience in aged care. “I couldn’t be more proud that I have such a commitment, such a commitment from every part of the government here to show that we can really change the food in aged care.”

She added: “We will make a difference because everyone deserves it. There is nothing more beautiful than really wonderful food full of flavours, the scent of food, and the enjoyment of the table and the love and care for everyone.”

TV mealtime makeovers

Meanwhile, Ms Beer is fronting a television program that aims to improve the dining experience for residents of an aged care home.

Filmed in Perth over four months and due to air on ABC next year, the behind-the-scenes series – Maggie Beer’s Big Mission – will see Ms Beer developing a nutritious and healthy menu for residents.

“What a privilege this is to work with a home that is brave enough to show warts and all, and the path of continuous improvement that will be necessary to bring about real change,” said Ms Beer.

As well as a mealtime makeover, the home’s dining room and gardens will also be renovated.

Maggie Beer’s Big Mission is poised to captivate audiences as it follows Maggie’s magnificent journey to revolutionise aged care through culinary innovation and reimagined spaces,” said Alex West, head of documentary at Screen Australia – a major production investor.     

“This ambitious program not only showcases Maggie’s culinary prowess and determination, but also raises important questions about the future of aged care in Australia.”

ABC head of factual Susie Jones said: “We are thrilled to have Maggie Beer spearhead such an important national conversation that effects all Australians. This series will surprise and delight ABC audiences, while bringing about real-world change.”

Main image: Maggie Beer

This story was updated at 2.00pm AEST 30 August 2023

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Tags: abc, maggie beer's big mission, maggie-beer,

1 thought on “Maggie Beer’s big aged care mission

  1. The problem is – and always will be – the budget. Until the big aged care facility owners accept that $6 a day for three meals and snacks, is not feasible, then no amount of training or goodwill will ever make a difference. Privatisation driven solely by profit is the issue.

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