Optimum Intake Dietitians provide a resident-centred approach to all services and supports in line with the resident’s assessed needs, goals and preferences that are important to the resident’s well-being and quality of life. We aim to treat the resident as a whole person and consider their physical and mental health, relationships/family, attitudes and cultural values. Enjoyable food and nutrition is essential for the physical, mental, social and emotional well-being of older Australians.

Optimum Intake Dietitians promote food as ‘more than just nutrients on a plate’, we aim to bring food to life, to make it appealing as it has the biggest impact on health outcomes.

Residential Aged Care Dietitian image
With the implementation of the Aged Care Quality Standards it is essential that RACFs have adequate and experienced support from suitably quality Allied Health Professionals in order to ensure they are consistently providing effective services and supports for daily living that optimise the resident’s independence, health, well-being and quality of life.

Three Modes of Service Delivery – including remote assessments

To improve the current access for dietary services within residential aged care facilities’ and to support their residents who have complex nutritional needs we are offering services that allow for flexibility during this unstable time of Covid-19 Pandemic. Your facility is now able to choose between three different modes of nutritional service delivery, Standard On-Site, Limited-contact On-Site or Remote Telehealth Services. Residents who require higher level of Medical Nutrition Therapy and Dietary Management will receive a coordinated care approach via any of the three modes of service delivery.
Telehealth will NOT replace face to face Dietitian services and is not a substitute for all appointments, however it is a supplementary and viable option during COVID-19 Pandemic or when facilities are in lockdown to provide low-risk quick access to dietary services.

Optimum Intake RACF Services

Optimum Intake Dietitians are experienced in aged care nutrition services and have unique skills and knowledge to undertake individual resident nutritional assessments as well as provide guidance on the provision of all aspects of nutrition and hydration management at a facility level. This may occur via nutrition care audits, supporting menu planning to meet the special and general needs of residents, advice on nutrition risk screening and assessment, training other members of multidisciplinary teams implementing food and nutrition systems and contributing to governance processes to improve safety and quality.

Optimum Intake Dietitians are the professionals to provide nutrition screening, assessment and medical nutrition therapy to older Australians experiencing:

  • Malnutrition and dehydration,
  • Dysphagia (swallowing problems),
  • Chronic disease (e.g. diabetes, cardiovascular disease, renal failure),
  • Enteral tube feeding,
  • Dementia care,
  • Wound care,
  • Food allergy and food intolerance.

Optimum Intake Dietitians can also assist RACFs with achieving services and supports for daily living via consultation with regard to:

Effective Food services from planning to presentation

Ewe can work with on-site caterers regarding menu planning, provision of special diets, optimising the mealtime environment, assistance with eating and drinking and auditing of food and nutrition systems.

Menu Review / Menu Development

Desktop menu reviews and complete on-site nutrition care audits minimise the risk of issues such as poor food quality, inadequate amount of nutrients, compliance in food textures and special diet types, adequate choice and a lack of support for consumption of food and beverages. Services can be tailored to the needs of the RACF with the goal of providing assurance that nutrition and hydration provision is adequate. Prioritising menu planning and provision assists with supporting resident’s choice and independence with understanding their own nutrition needs.

Supporting the workforce to have knowledge and competency

Optimum Intake Dietitians can facilitate food and nutrition training (including malnutrition screening) for all care staff; support workers, nursing staff, care workers and managers, chefs and kitchen staff, family/carers and volunteers. Educational material developed and delivered is evidence-based and addresses management of food and nutrition related risks experienced by older people i.e. malnutrition, dysphagia, wounds, therapeutic diets ( Diabetes/High Energy and Protein), Fibre, Fluids, constipation management, tube feeding, diet related monitoring and screening and food safety. Accredited Practising Dietitians contribute unique skills and knowledge to lead collaborative efforts which strengthen food and nutrition systems in residential aged care homes.

Safe Enteral Nutrition Feeding

Immediate referral to the dietitian will reduce the delay in initiation of enteral feeding, which presents an immediate risk of dehydration and malnutrition when that is the sole or significant source of nutrition for the person. Where an enteral feed has been commenced during a hospital admission, referral to Optimum Intake Dietitians on discharge can ensure a safe handover of care and appropriate follow up to optimise resident health outcomes. APDs have the skills and knowledge to assist with monitoring and modifying the feed regime as well as accessing and caring for enteral feed equipment such as feeding tubes and feeding pumps.

Malnutrition Screening, Prevention & Treatment

In residential care, Australian studies have identified a prevalence of malnutrition from 22% up to 50%. A culture across all staff must be evident which demonstrates that enjoyable nutritious food is important, and that poor intake and weight loss is not inevitable. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recognises malnutrition as one of six contributing factors to the declining physical and mental capacity of older people. Malnutrition increases the risk of falls, osteoporosis and fractures, slow wound healing, morbidity, mortality and contributes to poor quality of life. Prevention and management of unplanned weight loss requires measuring and monitoring, supported by clinical governance and training. The recommended framework for malnutrition screening includes initial and ongoing training of all care staff and support workers in use of the screening tool, prompt referral of all identified as being malnourished or at risk of malnutrition to an Accredited Practising Dietitian and minimum standards for the documentation of screening results and follow up.

Therapeutic Diet Prescription

The involvement of Accredited Practising Dietitians is vital where unplanned weight loss or other nutritional concerns are identified. Optimum Intake Dietitians are uniquely qualified to implement proactive policies, lead integrated strategies for the prevention and management of nutritional and hydration concerns.

End of Life Care

Nutrition is an important part of advance care planning, especially when texture modified meals, thickened fluids and enteral feeds are required. Ideally, the food service systems need to be flexible and varied to meet the needs of those person’s approaching the end of their lives. Food and support around food and nutrition should add “quality” to their lives. An eating and hydration plan that supports dignity and quality of life, keeping them as comfortable as possible while addressing requests.

To discuss how Optimum Intake can assist you to optimise the health outcomes of residents under the new Aged Care Quality Standards, contact us on 0499 008 451 or email admin@optimumintake.com.au