IDC2022: What makes good food – it’s simple!

Prof Andrew Cole and Maggie Beer AO at IDC2022

One of the first sessions on day 2 of the International Dementia Conference (IDC2022), featured Prof Andrew Cole and Maggie Beer AO discussing the importance of food and how to change perspective on its role, especially in the context of aged care and dementia care.

The discussion highlighted the need to raise awareness of the value and the role of cooks and chefs to create a special dining experience – allowing the cook or chef to get to know the residents and get feedback, for example.

“When the cook or chef is proud, the positive energy can spread throughout the facility”, commented Maggie.

Food has a direct link with wellbeing, but not without love…

Maggie Beer AO

There is currently no minimum standard for a role as a cook in aged care, so raising the bar is critical, including education at the board and management level.

“You need to have the smell of food. This could be done in simple ways such as having a bread maker, or finishing some of the food near the servery”, added Maggie.

One of the first sessions at IDC2022 on day 1, featured a discussion with ‘Phillip’, who was diagnosed with dementia in 2020. Phillip provided an insightful understanding of his journey and how one of his biggest gripes is that the facility where he lives cannot ‘get the raisin toast right’.

HammondCare’s Cottage model that follows the Green House concept of living puts the kitchen in the middle of the home, with the discussion citing HammondCare’s Food Ambassador Peter Morgan-Jones as one of the first proponents to start the discussion around the importance of food in aged care.


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