Nutrition in aged care gets 12.9 million boost

Dietitians Australia is applauding the Federal Government’s commitment of $12.9 million dollars towards better nutrition in aged care.

The announcement in tonight’s Federal Budget is a significant milestone towards bringing accredited practising dietitians into the aged care setting to combat malnutrition.

“This is the start of the end of malnutrition in aged care in this country,” Dietitians Australia CEO Robert Hunt said.

“Malnutrition has been a silent faceless abuser in Australian aged care for decades.

“We have made it no secret as a member association and a profession that we will not tolerate it and have insisted dietitians be engaged in the sector immediately.

“Aged care residents and their families deserve nothing less.

“While we await the full details, the funding announced tonight appears to be a vital step towards improving food, nutrition, and quality of life for older people in residential aged care homes.

The Treasury documents state that the funding will go towards establishing a dedicated Food, Nutrition and Dining Advisory Support Unit, through a food complaints hotline staffed by dietitians.

“The only guaranteed way to lift the bar on the food and nutrition offerings is to include dietitians in the picture, and it appears the government has finally hit the mark on this.

“We’re incredibly grateful for the support we’ve received from the Minister for Aged Care Anika Wells, Assistant Minister for Aged Care Ged Kearney and the team at the Department of Health and Aged Care in advancing this mission.

“Tonight’s funding announcement provides clear evidence that this Government is committed to improving the standard of food and nutrition served to our loved ones in care in this country.

“Dietitians Australia looks forward to supporting our members as part of this transformational project for nutrition in residential aged care,” Mr Hunt said.

“Food is only nutritious if it is eaten, and we warmly welcome the $219 million boost to public dental services to support the oral healthcare of Australians.

Dietitians Australia also applauds the $3.2 million commitment towards a ‘Healthy Food Choices Program, $6.2 million investment in supporting children to build and maintain positive body image and $2.8 million to support young people living with eating disorders.

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