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Shine a light: a focus on nutrition in aged care

“To improve the quality of life of older Australians through good food and nutrition.”

This is the vision of The Lantern Project, an aged care focused collaboration concentrated on the dining experience, legal and food quality issues as well as food activities that connect the generations.

Founded in 2013 by Dr Cherie Hugo (a practising nutritionist and director of My Nutrition Clinic, which currently consults in aged care homes) the project is named as such, as it aims to “shine the light on the issue of food in aged care, using good old fashioned fresh, local produce, utilising the wisdom of our elder residents”.

Hugo and The Lantern Project were key in the recent research into the cost of feeding aged care residents. They found that the average total spend on catering consumables (including cutlery/crockery, supplements, paper goods) was $8.00 per resident per day: less than aged care food budgets internationally (US, UK and Canada), and less than community-dwelling older adults ($17.25) and, even more surprisingly, 136 per cent less than for Australian corrective services.

Aged Care Insite sat down with Hugo to discuss the state of nutrition in aged care.

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