The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) has expressed its disgust at the findings of a new study showing some nursing home providers are spending a measly $6.08 a day for three meals a day per resident.
The alarming research, published in the Nutrition and Dietetic journal, also found that half of aged care residents suffer from malnutrition, with nursing home providers cutting spending on food by 30 cents per resident last year.
A/Federal Secretary, Annie Butler said today: “The quality and amount of food that vulnerable, elderly nursing home residents are being served is one of the major concerns that nurses, carers and families of residents have about Australia’s aged care system.
“It’s appalling that some aged care providers think so little of their residents, spending just $6 a day for three meals.
“Our members working in aged care have reported that the food being served in nursing homes is often inadequate, unappetising and not nutritious, with one report stating that party pies were blended up as a meal for residents.
“Meal times are also extremely important for residents’ social interaction. It’s something they look forward to and it breaks up the day.
“So when meals aren’t appetising or nutritious, they don’t want to eat and it deprives them of the vital social interaction they need to spend with other residents. It’s failing them on so many levels.”
Last week in Queensland, nursing home residents reported to the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency, that they were regularly fed less than a McDonald’s Happy Meal. Others reported that their meals were inedible.
Ms Butler said: “Elderly, vulnerable nursing home residents deserve better.
“It’s a disgrace that profitable aged care providers can get away with serving up a mushed-up party pie, or three nuggets and five chips and call it a meal.
“As nurses and carers, it’s terribly sad to see these providers showing no recognition, regard or respect to people who have contributed so much to Australian society over the years.”
The ANMF, with over 268,500 members, is the industrial and professional voice for nurses, midwives and assistants in nursing in Australia.
ANMF media inquiries: Richard Lenarduzzi 0411 254 390.