As he awoke from a rather restless sleep, there was nothing John was looking forward to more than a delicious breakfast and a cuppa tea. John excitedly waited for his breakfast to arrive; buttery jam toast and a banana, a daily favourite. But to his dismay, John found his toast was nearly burnt to a crisp. “I can’t eat this,” he exclaimed. “Who burnt my toast?”
Food should be a daily joy
Food is not only a source of nutrition, it’s intrinsic to the social life of most people, especially those in care. Food represents choice and starts conversations. However, providing consistently fresh, nutritious and delicious food six times a day, 365 days a year to aged care residents is complex. Often residents do not receive the food they want, just like our friend John and his toast.
This complexity is compounded by a sector characterised by a high degree of permanent part-time (78 per cent) and casual (10 per cent) workers.¹
“Even the best and most experienced food service team can’t be expected to cater to every individual resident preference without good digital processes.”
Technology and workforce planning must go hand in hand
An even bigger problem looms as the current wave of carers head towards retirement age, with not enough workers to replace them. In 2016, more than 153,000 workers were employed in direct care roles in Australia’s residential aged care sector, with almost half expected to reach retirement age within the next ten years.²
Sean Rooney, CEO at Leading Age Services Australia, summed up the dilemma recently: “This means Australia will need to recruit 650 new workers each month for the next 10 years to keep up with the current ratio of aged care workers to older Australians.”
In a care catering sense, digitisation will be key to bridging these knowledge gaps to ensure food is delivered to the specific dietary, cultural and individual requirements of each resident, regardless of who is caring for them.
Care catering software can ensure that the margin of error is kept to a minimum by supporting food service teams with standard menu options and real-time offerings. It also empowers carers to keep individualised dietary profiles for each resident, including their favourite shade of toast.
SoupedUp is Australia’s leading catering software and online training provider to the care industry. Our proven technology solutions save facilities on average 19 per cent on catering costs^, while reducing the risks associated with food service delivery in an aged care setting. To learn more about SoupedUp’s solutions visit www.soupedup.com
^ Time and cost savings based on an aged care facility of 80-90 beds, including subscription fees. Source data based on average time and costs spent by 24 facilities switching from paper-based system to SoupedUp Catering.