Before each new seasonal menu comes out, our clients at Faversham House Residential Aged Care get to pre-taste and give the final say on what goes on the menu. This menu is used across several different BASScare services including Meals on Wheels. These qualities are the hallmark of BASScare’s catering and hospitality service, setting the bar and respecting the desires of older Australian’s to continue making decisions that concern their own lives.
Choice is a privilege too often taken for granted
In a single day, most of us are faced with hundreds of choices. Small things, like when we get up, the route to work, latte or macchiato, through to the big things: who gets our vote, where we might holiday next, and even where we live. We make decisions and act upon them, with scant regard for how fortunate we are to do so.
There are, however, some in our society who fear the privilege of these choices slipping away. For older Australians and those living with a disability, the possibility of no longer being able to live independently, to live in their own community, is all too real.
Meals on Wheels promotes independent living – Continue to enjoy great meals in your own home
BASScare’s Meals on Wheels program is helping to allay those fears, and giving older Australians the choices most of us take for granted.
“Meals on Wheels is all about respecting an older person’s wish to remain in their own home,” says Janet Crago, Community Engagement Manager for BASScare. “That’s what they want to do. That’s where they feel comfortable. And, as a community, this is a way we can enable that.”
When their input is sought, older Australians are insistent that they do not want to be “passive recipients of the aged care system”; they want to be independent, choose where they live, what services they want to take advantage of, and who provides them.
Instead of being forced to leave their home – and their community – because they are no longer capable of shopping for groceries or cooking a meal, a client of BASScare’s Meals on Wheels program can have a hot, three-course meal delivered by a Volunteer to their own dining room table.
Variety is the spice of life – Designing the Meals on Wheels menu
Once a person chooses to use Meals on Wheels, more choices follow. Along with the soup of the day, there’s two hot main courses and a dessert to choose from. We also have a salad option for hotter days. Certain dishes stand the test of time. A roast dinner with all the accoutrements is time-consuming and difficult to prepare, especially for just one or two people, so that’s a popular choice on the menu. As is fish on a Friday, and old school classics like apricot chicken and butter chicken.
The choice of what to eat for your main meal may seem like an insignificant thing to most, but for those who are dependent on carers or family members, and who already have many things done for them, the ability to make a decision on what to eat is important. Sometimes it’s the one opportunity in the day to choose what they would like.
Feedback is key to an ever-adapting service – How we work with our clients
Feedback is hugely important to the people at BASScare; it’s how they tailor the menu and the choices to what’s actually desired. The volunteers who deliver the meals are in constant communication with the clients, and BASScare also holds tastings at Faversham House with Head Chef Lokesh so they can talk face-to-face with the person preparing their meals.
For BASScare, the client is king
It’s all about the client. The Meals on Wheels program is a service for them, designed to make them active recipients of the aged care system, and living where they would like to for as long as possible.