Home | Specialty Focus | “Make every mouthful count:” Maggie Beer transforms aged care food
Maggie Beer (left) and the home's executive chef Sasanka Peiris (right). Picture: Supplied/ABC

“Make every mouthful count:” Maggie Beer transforms aged care food

An inspirational three-part television series focusing on renovating a Western Australian aged care facility is set to air in early July.

Maggie Beer's Big Mission is an ABC series that will follow Ms Beer's as she completely overhauls Meath Care in WA through its meals and dining experiences.

Following findings from the Royal Commission, which exposed high malnutrition rates, Ms Beer and her team of experts led an ambitious world-first social experiment to transform the menu, dining rooms, gardens, and the care model for residents.

Having established The Maggie Beer Foundation a decade ago with a mission to set new standards to change the food and dining experience in the aged care sector, Mr Beer's mantra is to “make every mouthful count”.

Over the course of four months, she worked closely with speech pathologist Natalie O’Brien, dietitian Emma Falconer, and the home’s executive chef, Sasanka Peiris, to introduce new recipes that are high in protein and full of flavour, using fresh ingredients and cooking techniques.

The Royal Commission indicated that approximately 68% of residents in Australia’s aged-care facilities were susceptible to malnutrition or were already experiencing malnutrition,

Testimonies presented during the Commission’s investigation revealed subpar food quality in many facilities, with improperly cooked meals that lacked variety and fresh ingredients.

The Commission also highlighted that some aged care facilities spent less than $6 daily per resident on food.

In response, the Federal Government collaborated with Ms Beer to launch a free program called Improving Food in Aged Care through Education and Training.

"Food, nutrition, and the dining experience significantly impact a person’s quality of life, and that’s why we have partnered with the Maggie Beer Foundation to deliver this training," Aged Care Minister Anika Wells said during the launch.

"This is part of our approach to help providers and workers upskill and be better educated so they can prepare and serve more delicious and nutritious food to the older people in their care."

Meath Care's chief Chris Roberts welcomed the changes Ms Beer made to the home.

"It’s a brave endeavour to be open to such a big transformation," he said.

"I'm optimistic that together with Maggie’s team, staff will be able to deliver the new changes.

"If successful, I am committed to rolling the changes out to not only the rest of the home, but to the rest of the organisations as well."

Maggie Beer's Big Mission starts on ABC TV on July 9 at 8:30PM.

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