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24 Apr 2018

Long Table Lunch for Aged Care

I have been having this thought for a week now. How about organising a Long Table Lunch for Aged Care? What if we gather multiples providers with some residents, families and staff at one place & time and allow to share our thoughts and ideas about real improvements and innovations in AGED CARE CATERING.

We always say that “It’s all about food in aged care”, well then let’s make it all about food!!!

I am not talking about organising those formal conferences & seminars. I am talking about more like a family lunch / get together. We all belong to the same family (Aged Care Industry) and face similar challenges and questions on regular basis. Surely, we can help each other just by sharing few ideas and thoughts face to face.

Let’s involve our own catering staff, current suppliers, current life style staff, Maintenance Team, Management & Care staff, Cleaning departments and all our current volunteers to help organise this amazing day for our residents and families. (This might already happen at an “OPEN DAY” in every aged care however, this event is basically an “OPEN DAY” for the AGED CARE INDUSTRY)

There is plenty of talent and passion among our own staff. We really only need to provide an opportunity / platform for them to showcase their real passion.

Just imagine an event that was organised by people who are currently part of your own team. Staff members from same departments but from various aged care are working together to pull off this incredible event. Lifestyle is organising the activities & decorations, Chefs and cooks are designing appropriate menu, Kitchen Assistants are planning the meal service, Maintenance is working hard to make sure all resources are provided for, Key management people are preparing short speeches & presentations about Catering in Aged Care & helping residents and families to be part of this grand event. List goes on…….

Basically, the way I see this event is more of an exercise to source the tremendous potential we have within our industry and identifying solutions to current problems & challenges in aged care catering. Let’s discuss catering innovations and ideas that are already happening at different places. Lets find out what other aged cares are doing different and how are they doing it to provide best MEALS & SERVICES to their residents.

Since “it’s all about food” event, the focus obviously should be on the food that’s being served and how its being served. For a change, we aim to recreate some simple, basic, traditional dishes with not too hard or fancy modern touches and serve it well. Usually when we attend seminars & conferences, we come across the food that’s been prepared for that occasion specifically and is prepared by a special team of chefs/cooks. My belief is that yes, we can pick few ideas here and there from these extensive menus but can we really implement that on daily basis at our organisation????? It’s a really big question we have to address and that involves lots of labour and money and R&D. So why not do something better with what we already have even before we talk about innovations. What if we find a better way to prepare, cook and serve Sunday Roast with Vegetables & Gravy and serve it with LOVE & PASSION just like we do at our home.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, that it’s a thought that I have had for a week now and the only way to find out the viability of such project is to share this thought to industry experts and ask for the suggestions & help.

I am a confident that this can be easily achieved if we all join hands and work towards one goal.

Please note: If this sort of project is already happening then I am unaware of it and if its not happening currently then I am prepared to put my hand up to work with various providers to make this project a reality.

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Written by Chirag Joshi Founder & owner of HDS.

Chirag Joshi is the founder & owner of HDS. Chirag possesses over 12 years of experience in Aged Care industry. Having worked as an aged care chef for a long time he understands the complexity & challenges to maintain residents diet profile, food safety records, food labelling, procurement invoicing procedures & staff rostering. Chirag has also completed a Bachelor in Computing with major in multimedia & system design. He has developed number of systems to help provide efficiency in aged care and also help eliminate paperwork and manual processes.

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