Bolton Clarke’s aged care home in Westmead, Sydney, has been named a finalist in an international aged care awards program for its project serving the flavours of home to residents from more than 20 different cultural backgrounds.

The on-demand initiative includes daily fresh cooked meals including at least one cultural dish, an on-demand menu of 10 cultural meals pre-cooked and snap frozen on site and bringing back the courtyard pizza oven and barista coffee cart.

The menu was co-designed to meet the needs of residents  from 23 cultural backgrounds including Italian, Lebanese, Chinese, Filipino, Egyptian, Iranian, Fijian, Persian, German, Sri Lankan, Indian, Greek, Maltese, French, Macedonian, Malaysian, Sudanese, Hungarian, Irish, English, Spanish and Estonian.

The initiative has put Bolton Clarke into the finals of the Asia Pacific Eldercare Innovation Awards in the Innovation of the Year – Food and Nutrition category.

Bolton Clarke general manager hospitality Caroline Lucas said Cabrini  was the provider’s most culturally diverse community.

“We are always looking at new ways to promote wellbeing and bringing residents the smells and flavours of favourite family meals was one simple step we could take,” Ms Lucas told Australian Ageing Agenda.

Caroline Lucas

She said the inspiration for the initiative came from residents’ families.

“Through our meetings and one on one sessions with residents and families we noticed a common theme around a desire to see more cultural dishes.

“We also noted many families were bringing specialty dishes from home which residents were enjoying, so we set out to recreate those meals onsite with their recipes.”

Ms Lucas said the new menu was launched to residents on 5 July after four months of preparations.

“Residents are loving the new menu and dishes and the added choice and this has been reflected in feedback,” Ms Lucas said.

Popular dishes on the menu include Chermoula fish with Moroccan beans, tandoori chicken with mint yoghurt dressing, butter chicken, baked barramundi with lemon and dill sauce and seafood vol au vent.

Residents can also choose nasi goreng, pea and pumpkin gnocchi, roast turkey with cranberry sauce, chicken parmigiana, garlic prawns, lamb osso buco and roast lamb with mint sauce.

The home has also implemented a process to support safe food storage for families who want to bring in home cooked meals for their loved ones.

Bolton Clarke is looking to expand this initiative to other homes based on preferences of residents in each community, Ms Lucas said.

Award winners will be announced at Ageing Asia’s World Ageing Festival in October.

Main image: Bolton Clarke Cabrini’s courtyard pizza oven

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