Historically retirement villages have not engaged in food service because residents are independent, meaning they can prepare their own meals in their own home.
For operators and management, it has also been a high risk and high cost adventure to test if residents want meals prepared for them.
But all this is changing, as marketers see food as a differentiator and a way of creating community. And residents are increasingly expecting meals to be available on demand, just like they do at home through Uber Eats!
The major reason to think about food is nutrition. Poor nutrition, the balance between volume and nutrients the food selected to eat, is the fastest route to physical decline in the aged.
New services, new technologies
In a recent edition of SATURDAY, our editor Lauren Broomham reported on a number of services and technologies now available. Some of these included ‘Digital plates’ that scan resident’s meals before and after and identifies food intake and nutrition, cashless apps and more you will want to know about.
We have selected a few that you can give you an insight into the future of food.
Meals on demand
Many operators throughout lockdowns have utilised these services for their residents.
They are also a great option for someone recovering from a stay in hospital who is unable to get out and about or just pure convenience.
Some of the new and established entrants include:
- TLC Meals is a service for discharged hospital patients and delivers a range of frozen, nutritious meals to clients, catering for a range of dietary and medical requirements.
- Lite n’ Easy has developed a range specifically for the elderly. They have partnered with a number of Home Care package providers to deliver meals to older Australians and has over 100 meals to choose from subsidised by up to 70% of the resident’s Home Care Package (HCP).
- SPC is the well-known Australian food company. It has announced it’s move into a nutritional healthcare company for older people in residential care and at home. They already have produced their ProVital brand which specialises in fruit-based snacks and beverages and home delivered meals under the Good Meal brand. They are now focusing on offering food products easy to open for people suffering from arthritis.
Outsourced food management
- CBORD – an American food technology company that specialises in retirement communities universities and hospitals, has created a whole digital front and back end for food management and nutrition. It scans every plate before a meal is eaten and afterwards with the remaining scraps and calculates the nutrition intake of the resident, and that’s just the start. Many Australian hospitals and some aged care operators and are using CBORD.
- Compass Group Australia, Senior Living – a catering and hospitality services business that offers a full suite of support services to the senior living and healthcare sector from gardening to reception services, and now they will operate your food service for you.
Click HERE to read the full article.