Education Scoping in Aged Care

Whilst all aged care staff would benefit from increased practical education strategies to support their nutritional knowledge, there is limited research about the education modalities which are most effective for this group.

Nutrition Australia Vic Division and Dairy Australia undertook a scoping project aimed at determining the preferred education and training modalities of aged care staff.

Read more:

Royal Commission into Aged Care

The Royal Commission into Aged Care identified inadequate food provision and poor nutritional care in aged care. It also highlighted the requirement for nutrition education in the sector, reporting sub-optimal nutrition can result in an increased risk of malnutrition, fractures, falls, morbidity and mortality for residents in aged care facilities.

Education Scoping in Aged Care

As a result of the Royal Commission, Nutrition Australia Vic Division and Dairy Australia undertook a scoping project aimed at identifying the food and nutrition education and training requirements and preferred mode of delivery across Australian aged care centres and providers.

The project was designed to target cooks, chefs and food services staff, as well as management staff. The team invited 3,471 aged care facilities and peak bodies to partake in a survey to understand the desires and needs for nutrition education. 89 responses to the survey were received, and 13 qualitative interviews were conducted.

Survey results and conclusion

The preferred modalities for education delivery were face-to-face (71%) and online (53%). Topics of interest were nutrition for older adults (58%) and texture modified diets (55%). Barriers to undertaking training included insufficient time allocated during work hours (34%) and cost (34%). The project report concluded nutrition training and education to improve nutrition knowledge in staff may translate to improvement in food quality and mealtime experience for residents.