Hi and welcome! I’m an Accredited Practising Dietitian specialising in aged care nutrition. After many years of trying to convince myself that I enjoyed working in a clinical setting, I have now fully embraced that I love to teach dietitians (and student dietitians), chefs and other aged care staff how to raise the standards of food and nutrition in aged care. Because every older person should be given food that makes them want to lick their plates clean!
I had no intention of working in aged care when I graduated, mainly because I felt I didn’t know enough or learnt about it at uni. It felt daunting and overwhelming, in environments that felt very unfamiliar! But when I was asked to review a menu and saw the residents being given sausage rolls from a box for dinner with some sad, grey-looking peas and packet mashed potato, I knew this was where I needed to be.
Over time I've realised - this was my jam! It broke my heart to see our older people given poor quality food - in my mind, if it wasn’t good enough for my grandparents then it just wasn’t good enough. And besides, I really didn't feel like a good fit in a clinical setting, or having to work for someone else that curbed my visionary style of seeing bigger problems and working out solutions.
Through experience (let's be honest, it's really trial & error!), I’ve developed clinical processes for nutrition that received a Better Practice Award back in 2007 as well as improving food programs to the level of attracting and recruiting restaurant-trained chefs. This has allowed me to create specific menus for residents needs - my most valued transformation being with a menu in 2 memory support units. Such simple changes that significantly reduced the number of supplements needed, reduced malnutrition rates, reduced falls and hydration-related infections. The power of nutrition right?
The proof is in the pudding, we can (and should) improve quality of life by improving nutrition by spending less time in nurses stations and more time in the kitchen with the chef!
I knew that as a dietitian who loved working with chefs and aged care staff, I could really make a difference for people in the facilities that I looked after. It took a while to realise that it wasn't just me fumbling my way through aged care nutrition, dietitians just don't get the support or information needed to be experts in this field.
So my journey has brought me here - teaching and supporting dietitians to be leaders in this industry, as well as to upskill aged care staff to be able to create the food quality that our older people want and deserve.
I look forward to connecting with you!