Understanding the experiences of older adults

Service providers and managers may survey their residents to evaluate their specific requirements and develop a supportive staff culture and training programs to improve the areas in need.  

When developing ways to understand and address the experiences of older adults regarding nutrition you may want to consider the following: 

  • Individual differences – Each older adult has unique needs, preferences and experiences with nutrition and food. Regularly surveying or asking older adults about their experiences can help to improve the service being provided and develop better relationships between staff and those accessing the services. 
  • Leadership and culture – To successfully implement and continually adapt nutritional services, a culture which promotes ongoing learning, feedback and innovation within the organisation is required. 
  • Empowerment and education of staff – To safely provide tailored nutritional meals, particularly to older adults with texture modified diets, staff training in the production and delivery of meals is crucial. A well-trained workforce provides more co-worker supports and can adapt more efficiently to the nutritional or dietary changes which frequently occur in aged care settings. 
  • Access to required equipment – To adequately provide tailored nutritional services and dining experiences, aged care staff need access to required kitchen and dining equipment. This equipment assists with creating good quality meals in a variety of textures, promotes independence during mealtimes and contributes to safety management. 

If you are considering strategies to receive and act on feedback from those accessing nutritional services in aged care settings, the following resources may prove useful: 

Quality Standards

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission are currently consulting on draft guidance resources to help providers, aged care workers and other stakeholders to understand the new strengthened Quality Standards and their roles and responsibilities in meeting them. Along with the new Aged Care Act, the strengthened Quality Standards are expected to be introduced from 1 July 2024.

For more information:

Draft Provider Guidance Standard 6 – Food and Nutrition

Want to know more?

If you require more information on implementing an approach to delivering tasty, safe and nutritious meals in aged care: 

  1. Browse the nutrition resources.
  2. Look for research evidence within the PubMed database by using one of the PubMed searches provided here. PubMed contains brief information (‘citations’) on millions of research studies. It can therefore be challenging to search. Our librarian has made finding highly relevant information on this topic as simple as a click of a button. Click on All to see everything in the database on the topic or choose Full text to view only articles immediately available to you free of charge in full text.

Connect to PubMed evidence

If you wish to find out more about nutrition in aged care, try using one of the PubMed searches below. These links (all or full text) take you to the relevant research literature in the large international PubMed database.