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There’s nothing like a healthy home cooked meal and AnglicareSA’s Community Aged Care team is learning how to deliver just that through a new series of information sessions for care workers.

Developed and presented by AnglicareSA Executive Chef Andrew McIntyre, the six-person sessions to be attended by all care workers in the coming months are based on feedback from customers on what they like to eat and what meals they want the team to be able to prepare for them as part of their service.

Topics covered in the sessions held in the classroom and the kitchen are:

  • Basics of nutrition and meal planning
  • Culinary techniques for home cooks
  • Specialised diets and allergies
  • Time management and batch cooking
  • Practical cookery presentation

“Upon completing the Home Care Cookery sessions, our care workers will have gained valuable culinary skills and knowledge to provide nutritious and personalised meals for their customers,” Andrew said.

“This workshop content will upskill our home care workers, allowing them to improve the wellbeing of those in their care through the preparation of freshly cooked and satisfying meals.”

Recipes including beef casserole, vegetable soup, and scrambled eggs with bacon and mushrooms are given to participants as part of the course along with information on nutrition.

Home care worker Brenda was among one of the first groups to take part in the information sessions and said she found the presentation informative.

“First of all, I didn’t know how to cook mushrooms and now I do,” Brenda said. “It was great having the chef explain the benefits of different cooking processes and techniques and knowing when something is working or not working.

“Every customer has different dietary needs, so as care workers it is good for us to have this extra knowledge about nutrition and what additional ingredients are needed in a dish.”

The development of Home Care Cookery sessions followed the reintroduction of AnglicareSA’s Community Aged Care Customer Advisory structure in 2023 which included customer experience phone surveys.

A total of seven separate focus groups attended by customers also met throughout the year with topics covered including staff training and skills development, cooking and meal planning, customer journey, workforce optimisation, and staff recruitment and retention.

The Customer Advisory Body will continue to meet throughout 2024.