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  1. Hi there, I work as a non-nursing staff in a closed dementia facility in the Netherlands. The progressive idea in my particular facility is “small pods”. 8 people per pod, two pods on one floor. I am in charge of making the menu forone pod, ordering the food and after that it depends on who works the meal shift per pod, per meal.
    Sometimes these are young people (nursing staff) not even able to boil potatoes.
    We deal with diabetes, organ disfunction, obesity etc.
    No education is given in this direction. I try my best but I cannot be there 24 hours a day.
    I find this whole system very troubling.

  2. Greetings,

    Thank you for an informative writing highlighting the research and needs in the aged care sector around food service and nutrition.

    I work in In Home Aged Care working with a myriad of health compromised aged persons. I am also a chef by trade with 20 years experience in running kitchens and food service.

    This article revealed some of the issues within facilities for the aged. The scope for improving food service and delivery may benefit from outside professionals who know not just nutrition but dining. To brainstorm solutions that would work in aged care facilities.

    I really like the ‘pods of 8’ progressive solution suggested above. As dining groups for social and cognitive interactions, however it falls short in the preparation and delivery.

    What about technology integration? An IPAD on tables with food choices, portion size choices, beverage choices, dessert choices that the ‘pod’ or table server assists the aged to place their orders with interaction, consideration of dietary requirements, consideration of health and illness, etc. Client could be personally identified (sign on for their meal) identifying only menu items that are relevant to their unique needs of health and nutrition! Fingerprint technology which would record the nutritional choices made, allow for better kitchen operations (COGS, preparation trends, ordering of supplies, and daily or weekly trends and food patterns. It minimises food wastage so become cost effective, it could even monitor cost per client and allow strong fiscal management of costs, charges and on-ward costs (extras).

    Chefs and kitchen staff would be cooking prepped foods to order (as in a restaurant) so staggered delivery may be required on some level depending on staff and delivery numbers. Food ready could pop up on the IPAD for the ticket (kitchen side) for delivery to the correct person (table track system like a GPS for table seats).

    This type of innovation would encourage residents to improve food intake, monitor calories etc, improve dietary nutrition, and harness a model of client based choices putting the aged back in charge of their meals again.

    I agree social and dining experience (lighting, seating, setting, music, service), are important for many for a satisfactory meal. In addition to this is food choice, presentation (no one likes slop on a plate!), delivery (as intended hot or cold). Using new strategies and methodologies, giving budget and focus on nutrition (above profits / cost) could transform meal times for the aged into an engaging, nutritional,choice driven experience.

    Food for thought! Bon Appetit!

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