A snapshot of food service in aged care homes under the new standards

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review


Background: Aged Care in Australia is undergoing a culture
change with new, consumer-driven standards effective
July 2019 which not only highlight the role of food quantity
and quality in ensuring residents receive adequate nutrition
and hydration but, for the first time, now also discuss the
importance of resident choice, autonomy and dignity.

Aim: To understand perceptions of residents living in
Residential Aged Care Homes (RACHs) in South
Australia in comparison to the food service domain of the
new Aged Care Quality Standards (ACQS).

Methods: Between April and November 2019, residents
(n = 387) of South Australian RACHs (n = 19) were
asked about various aspects of the food service provided
to them. Responses were mapped against examples of
actions of evidence and reflective questions provided in
Section 4f of the ACQS.

Results: Although many residents felt that they always had
adequate choice (66.4%) and variety (44.2%), fewer felt that
meals were tasty (25.1%) or appetising (28.4%). One third
(33.3%) thought their food preferences were always met but
few (2.6%) felt they had flexibility around meal timing. Less
than half (48.8%) felt their feedback or suggestions would
always be listened to.

Conclusion: Based on resident perspectives gathered,
many RACHs do not meet the core expectations of the
ACQS. As the accreditation process now begins with
resident interviews to discuss their areas for concern,
this snapshot highlights some key areas for improvement
within the residential aged care food service system.
Targeted research can assist homes to develop and
institute changes within their resources.
Original languageEnglish
Article number144
Pages (from-to)83
Number of pages1
JournalNutrition and Dietetics
Issue numberS1
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020
EventDietitians Australia 37th National Conference: Discover, Grow, Evolve - Melbourne Convention Centre, Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 23 Aug 202025 Aug 2020
Conference number: 27th


  • Aged care
  • Nutrition
  • Diet
  • Residential Aged Care Homes


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