Food Standards - Dementia care facilities Page 1 / 2

catlin3, Jan 9, 10:52am
Well sadly despite complaints not a lot has improved in fact i can't think of anything :-( Eight families have complained to the DHB and they are investigating - will be receiving a response in the next two weeks - should of been before Christmas but was delayed. About 30% of the staff have left as more problems than just food standards changing. Some resthome residents are complaining ( most will just accept ) but where mum is in the dementia ward most are unable to, generally just not eating if they don't like it. Unfortunately for the level of care mum requires most other places are full so we are on a waiting list.


dollydot, Jan 9, 9:26pm
I have a family member in a hospital wing of a care home with a very good reputation. The care and management is very good apart from a few carers who need more training in care and compassion for the elderly. The food is provided by Compass and along with the bad reports in the news on Compass providers it's not appetising and much of it is unsuitable for the elderly who can have sensitive stomachs and dentures so need appetising but easy to manage food. The diet lacks freshness and a good variety of vegetables. Some of the patients there lose weight and become more frail due to the unappetising food. It's not disgusting but not good enough. Especially as many pay $6,000 per month themselves to be cared for. The kitchen can't follow instructions like "no fish" and forget and send it to those who have asked to have a replacement. Patients are served carrot sandwiches! Not coleslaw with dressing but grated carrot. The care staff do their best to assist but Compass needs a rocket up them to get a nutritionist who can work out a better diet. Surveys are done on what patients think of the food, many say it's not good enough but no improvement as yet. Wellington hospital has better meals and seem to be way better organised food-wise. There's not a lot to look forward to when you're older and not so well so tasty meals would be so appreciated.

tegretol, Jan 10, 12:35am
There are no manadated Food Standards on NZ's Statute books. But surely the standards can be judged by whoever is paying.

In the same way, if you visited a restaurant and were served baked beans and toast then you'd either not pay or you'd complain. And likely never return.

It's down to the purchaser to define their expectations.

emmerson1, Jan 10, 1:07am

metaller, Jan 10, 10:10am
some places offer really good meals.

kay141, Jan 10, 10:34am
Which section relates to the quality, variety or amount of food while in dementia care? Which section relates to the patient's dietary preferences being taken into account?

linzis, Jan 10, 5:38pm
Have a look at their last audit and when the next one is due.
They are certainly audited on meals & dietary needs.

https://www.health.govt.nz/your-health/certified-providers/aged-care

catlin3, Oct 10, 3:48pm
Hi all, i have been searching but haven't found an answer. Does anyone know if there is a list of food standards dementia care facilities have to abide by for their residents? or is it up to each individual home?

arabelle, Oct 10, 4:09pm
its up to each home. some good some just smell of rotten cabbage. The auditors do now check that they are not just given a slice of bread and that Maggi soup dehydrated chemical stuff as it was in some rest homes I worked in for a while. And I do believe they have to all have a dietician who works with the cooks on a menu that meets the needs. but they dont have to see that it happens.

strathview, Oct 10, 4:11pm
From what I have seen they will try any high energy food including junk food if they can/will eat to get weight on some of the residents. Only what we experienced with MIL. The thing with dementia patients is that when they get bad that they forget how to eat and drink.

alston, Oct 10, 4:26pm
The best way to find out is to go to a rest home around lunchtime and note their cooking practices, how it is served and presented to the people there.
One I checked out, the vegetables were already boiling (for how long don’t know ) at 10.30 am for lunch at 12. Slop served to everyone regardless of their condition. Even dementia folks like their meals served nicely,while they are capable of managing an ordinary meal.

sally63, Oct 10, 6:38pm
Dropping in unexpectedly is a good idea- and that includes seeing how it is run etc.

catlin3, Oct 10, 6:46pm
The food has been very good up until now however home has been sold and the new owners have decided residents don't need jams, honey etc on their toast, have replaced butter for margarine and stopped milk coming in and replaced with powdered milk. Mum has stopped eating her breakfast cereal probably due to the powdered milk however is incapable of saying why. :-( Will be complaining but just wanted to know if there were a set of standards they needed to meet.

carter19, Oct 10, 6:48pm
My mum has just moved into a rest home and the meals are pretty good. The management are happy for visitors to be around at meal times. Plenty of food, second helpings if wanted, home baking, its a nice place and the staff are lovely and happy too.

samanya, Oct 10, 6:56pm
I have an elderly relative in a Ryman place (serviced apartment) & the meals are excellent . not quite the meat & 3 veg type that she's used to because she's 97 & hasn't ever been adventurous in trying other world cuisines, but they are tasty & nutritious & I'm pretty sure that their dementia unit would have the same standard of meals, apart from those on special diets.

lyndad59, Oct 10, 8:51pm
My Dad is in a dementia unit & the food is fine ,just NOT the fact that he is not capable of holding utensils ,so at times he "wears " the food instead .SO not happy ,but trying to get something done is doing my head in :(

linzis, Oct 11, 7:33am
My Mums in a Ryman Dementia Care Home also. Meals are very nutritious, and they always have fresh fruit, smoothies, hot drinks, snacks available if required, because many forget they have eaten.
You can even check the Ryman website and it gives you a menu plan. As far as the smaller independant care homes, they still get Government audited. I thought the meals would still, be assesed on quality/nutrition and have minimum standards. Do they do relative surveys? I feel this is something that needs to be addressed with Management.

linzis, Oct 11, 7:35am
Do they consult you on your Dads Care plan? They may need to give him more finger type foods, or assist him with feeding.

linzis, Oct 11, 7:50am
https://zen.nzherald.co.nz/media/webcontent/document/pdf/201347/Indicatorsforsafeagedcare.pdf

Found this. Quite informative. I think every Rest Home/Nursing Home has to have a Nutrition Guideline, as it is part of their auditing process. Google the Care Homes Name. It should come up with the last audit report.

lyndad59, Oct 11, 8:09am
Nope .He has only been in there about 2 months since moving down from the Resthome & I asked for another accessment to get him moved to the hospt ward instead .It's like pulling teeth :(

catlin3, Oct 11, 8:54am
Thanks for the link will have a look when it opens - my internet connection is very slow.

Previous audits won't matter, as i say been fine in the past just new owners ( less than 3 weeks ownership ) have made these changes which don't seem right.

linzis, Oct 11, 12:06pm
Something to compare to. You might be able to ring Ministry of Health for information, on audits and when new owners take over.

samanya, Oct 11, 6:45pm
Good to have my thoughts verified. I don't know about smaller rest homes, but I'm very confident that my rellie is getting quality, tasty food.
Her only minor gripe is that she doesn't get enough fresh vegetables, so I take her lettuce, silver beet & eggs etc, from my garden as she's able to cook small evening meals in her apartment & of course she can go on an organised shopping trip to the local supermarket.
I'm very confident that she's well fed . in fact she's put on weight over the 6 months she's been there.

samanya, Oct 11, 6:46pm
Good to have my thoughts verified. I don't know about smaller rest homes, but I'm very confident that my rellie (although not in the dementia unit) is getting quality, tasty food.
Her only minor gripe is that she doesn't get enough fresh vegetables, so I take her lettuce, silver beet & eggs etc, from my garden as she's able to cook small evening meals in her apartment & of course she can go on an organised shopping trip to the local supermarket.
I'm very confident that she's well fed . in fact she's put on weight over the 6 months she's been there.

arabelle, Oct 12, 9:09am
IF he can still wander then they won't put him in the hospital ward, as it's not secure.

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