The Challenges of Catering to a Modern Aged Care Market
Like most industries these days, the aged care market is one that is rapidly advancing. It is benefiting from and having to adapt to the constant development of new technologies, among a variety of other socioeconomic factors. If you’re wondering how your aged care facility can keep up with these changes, read on to find out more about the changes that are taking place and what you can do to future proof your care facility amidst these developments.
Changes in the aged care market
A new generation of people are reaching the age where they may require permanent care – the baby boomer. As the first wave of baby boomers enter aged care facilities, they bring with them a new set of expectations. This generation didn’t grow up in a time impoverished by war, so they are used to having a greater range of choice and independence than the generations before them.
So, when these baby boomers come to rely on aged care, they still expect to remain autonomous and have a choice when it comes to what they eat. They are also likely to expect higher quality food and overall quality of care. They know that they have choice when it comes to finding suitable care, so they can afford to have high standards.
Higher standards are expected all around, with the Government and relevant regulatory bodies demanding an improved standard of care. Regulations and auditing requirements for aged care facilities are becoming stricter in the pursuit of standardised care for the elderly.
Family members of those looking for residential care are also adding to these rising standards. They can shop around and conduct a lot of research online to make sure that their parent or relative will be living in an environment where they will be well looked after.
What do these changes mean for you?
These changes bring pros and cons to aged care facilities. You will be facing tougher competition and be expected to deliver a high standard of care. This means that, in order to stay relevant and competitive in the market, you will need to make certain changes in order to adapt to the current climate as well as preparing for future change.
This may require an investment of time and money to start with, but the result of successfully adapting to current and future changes is that you’ll have healthier and happier residents and a good reputation as a quality care facility. Higher standards can only lead to better care for the aged population, which is exactly what we set out to achieve in this industry.
How to future proof your aged care facility
So, what changes will you need to make to meet current and future demands? First of all, you should find ways to offer your residents more choice and independence when it comes to mealtimes. This includes when they eat as well as what they eat. Baby boomers entering aged care want to maintain the autonomy they had on the outside, and that involved eating what they wanted, when they wanted.
Staggered mealtimes could help to give residents more choice regarding when they consume their meals, and healthy snacks could be made available throughout the day. You should also stay informed on the latest nutritional trends and collect regular feedback from residents to ensure that they have access to the kinds of foods they want. Offering several meal options will allow residents to choose the food that suits their tastes.
Personalisation is key to providing high-quality care that suits everyone as individuals. It might sound like an impossible task managing each resident individually and understanding and catering to their unique needs, however, embracing new technologies can help to make this an efficient process.
At Cater Care, we use a program called ResiChoice to enhance residents’ meal experience. It allows staff to provide personalised care to residents without having to track everything about them manually. The result is improved care that’s catered to each individual.
Embracing technology in your aged care facility can help to make everything run more smoothly and efficiently, as well as reducing the risk of human error and improving the quality of care delivered without having to invest in a great deal more human resources. Technology can be used for a range of other things in care homes such as collecting feedback from residents and communicating more effectively between staff, residents, and families.
Future proofing your aged care facility means shifting to a more personalised customer-driven service. To find out more about the changes taking place in the aged care market and how to respond to them, download our free ebook about how food and nutrition is transforming aged care.