Aged Care Royal Commission Final Report flags food and nutrition for immediate attention

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Media Statement: 01 March 2021

Food and nutrition has been identified as one of four concerns requiring immediate attention in the Final Report handed down by the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety today.

With a malnutrition crisis gripping older Australians, Dietitians Australia welcomes the emphasis on food and nutrition, which is a basic human right.

Engaging at least one dietitian at every aged care home, and a stronger focus on food and nutrition with the increase to the Basic Daily Fee, are just some of the recommendations provided in the Commission’s Final Report.

“Good food and nutrition are vital to healthy ageing – for both physical and mental health. With a quarter of online submissions to the Commission referring to nutrition and malnourishment, we’re pleased to see food and nutrition, and support from a dietitian, given the priority it deserves,” said Robert Hunt, CEO of Dietitians Australia.

Robert Hunt, who presented to the Royal Commission in Cairns in 2019, looks with interest to support dietitians and the sector to work towards better outcomes for older Australians.

“We know that undertaking a food first approach to reducing malnutrition would save more than $80 million which would otherwise be spent on costly malnutrition treatment. Collaboration between dietitians, chefs and the whole care team allows older Australians access to food that is nutritious, familiar, appetising and appropriate for their needs,” said Hunt.

“This ultimately results in better health and quality of life for those in aged care. It’s a win-win for all involved.”


MEDIA NOTE: Robert Hunt is available for comment on the Final Report
recommendations.
Robert is available to comment on:
• Malnutrition screening and reducing malnutrition in aged care
• Engaging dietitians across the spectrum of care in community and residential aged care.
• Development of menu guidelines for both residential aged care homes and governance for
community-based meal services
• The importance of food in aged care, including the focus on food and nutrition with the
Basic Daily Fee increase.
• A dietitian’s role in helping support choice, dignity and quality of life for older Australians.
• Staff training in nutrition support for aged care.
View Dietitians Australia’s eight aged care position statements for more information.

For media enquiries and interviews, contact Pattie King, Dietitians Australia 0409 661 920

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