Research indicates that over 50% of residents in residential aged care facilities are malnourished or at risk of malnutrition.
Malnourished residents are at greater risk of falls and fractures, are more likely to develop pressure injuries and have diminished quality of life.
Malnourished residents require increased nursing care which can greatly increase health care costs and impact on your bottom line.
It is important to identify and treat residents at risk of malnutrition early on. We can assist you with setting up simple and effective nutrition screening and monitoring processes in order to minimise health impact and risk.
Individual Nutrition Consultations
We provide on-site nutrition support for individual residents.Where this is not possible a SKYPE consultation can be arranged.
Our dietitians are skilled at assessing and treating residents at nutritional risk, with the focus on improving quality of life.
A common problem is that many older people are still adhering to unnecessarily restrictive diets when these are no longer appropriate, for instance low fat diets and very strict diabetic diets. The downside of this is that their meals are low in energy and are often unappetizing, resulting in unhealthy weight loss. We can show you how to ‘liberalise’ meals, which residents can enjoy, without compromising their health.
We advise practical measures and work alongside medical, food service and care staff to address nutrition concerns, including nutritional management of chronic diseases.
We can advise of nutrition supplement use, and if appropriate arrange a Special Authority Applications and scripts as per Pharmac guidelines.
Tube Feeding in Aged Care
This includes nasogastric, nasojejumal and PEG feeding. All residents with a feeding tube in situ require regular dietitian input, as Enteral Tube Feeding is a restricted activity under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003.
Our Aged Care Nutrition Specialist Dietitians have tube feeding within their scope of practice and can legally prescribe the feeding plan.
We arrange the necessary tube feeding supports (Special Authority number and script for the formula, pump, other supplies and training). We also provide ongoing monitoring for residents requiring enteral tube feeding.
Nutrition and Hydration Policies
We can provide assistance with the development of evidence-based nutrition and hydration policies and guidelines
When to refer to Aged Care Dietitians?
A dietitian referral is advised if you have ticked YES for any of the following :
- has lost more than 5% in the past 3 months.
- usually eats less than 75% of meals (Click here for Aged Care Dietitians complimentary food chart)
- has major food allergies / intolerances, resulting in a limited range of foods eaten (this includes dairy-free diet, gluten-free diet)
- is a vegan / strict vegetarian
- has poorly controlled diabetes
- has difficulty chewing or swallowing foods (we will liaise with the Speech Language Therapist)
- is at high risk of, or has developed, a pressure injury
- has non-healing wounds or leg ulcers
- has poorly controlled diabetes e.g. frequent hypos or very high blood glucose levels
- has chronic bowel problems e.g. constipation, diarrhoea, nausea or vomiting
- has increased nutritional needs due to hypermetabolic conditions (e.g COPD, Parkinson’s Disease)
- has frequent falls (weight loss and loss of muscle are often important contributing factors)
- may require a nutritional supplement or when their Special authority number has expired.
- is on tube feeding (NG feeds, NJ feeds of PEG feeding)
- Click here for Authorisation of Referral
- Click here for Referral Form