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Celebrating cooks and chefs in aged care

30 June, 2020

There is so much happening in aged care; finally, there are less restrictions for people being able to visit loved ones in Aged Care Homes over most of Australia and so much conversation is happening about what all our lives will be going forward post COVID19.  However, the best conversations of all are about how we can bring about the best changes possible in aged care, so everyone is having the best imaginable experience to the end of life. This doesn’t happen without a lot of thought and in so many cases a lot of change.

Each month I want to write about someone who is bringing about such change so we can use examples of the things that make life better for all.

We all know there are lots of bad stories out there from the examples gathered from the Royal Commission however, there are so many good stories and this is one.

Angela Hicks, currently working at Japara Ryesands in Rye, came to our first Masterclass in the Barossa five years ago. Angela has volunteered at several of the Masterclasses over the years and it’s been wonderful to have her belief in what we are trying to achieve.

I wanted to give you an example of a special week in Angela’s own words to show how going that extra mile can bring about such a wonderful experience for the residents.

‘Today we celebrated Italian Day and we had Italian braised pork and fennel ragu on soft Parmesan and thyme polenta or Spaghetti Meatballs and for dessert Tiramisu.  In the afternoon we had antipasto platters with good crusty bread dipped in balsamic and olive oil.   Tonight’s dinner was spinach and ricotta cannelloni or homemade pizza with a tossed salad and orange and almond cake with thickened cream!  Happy residents!’

How I loved reading this. Not only the pleasure Angela and her team gave but the satisfaction and pride that they received themselves and whilst there are other examples, I wanted to say that the other wonderful thing that Angela has shared with me is how she scaled up a recipe we had given her for savoury muffins to be able to make for 90 residents. She also scaled up our recipe for baked vanilla custard that she served with poached quinces, one of my favourite desserts ever.

This is the kind of help that is invaluable for us at the Foundation and while thanking Angela, I would love to encourage anyone else who is happy to share with us a scaled up version of a recipe we’ve used for the Foundation that has found success in your ‘home’.

Angela is one of the successes.   We really want to know about what you are doing to make things special for your residents.  Please share these other great stories with us.

With my warmest wishes to all of you working so hard in your daily roles….