A heartfelt congratulations to Leah Tasker, cook at our Keith Turnbull Place Aged Care Facility on the Gold Coast, for winning the Ozheart award for March.
Leah was nominated by her manager for the effort she has put into creating moulded texture C (smooth pureed) foods for her facility. Refusing to let her residents eat bland and boring texture-modified meals, Leah has spent her own time visiting other facilities, attending demonstration courses and researching online to learn how to use food moulds to recreate the look of a meal rather than serving all the components with a spoon.
Leah has helped her facility enhance the dining experience, much to residents delight. The first plate of moulded texture C sandwiches offered to a resident was greeted with so much enthusiasm, he ate them all for himself, exclaiming joy as he hadn’t eaten a sandwich in years.
The new moulded food is not only enticing appetites it’s restoring dignity with realistic and appealing food presentation.
For residents, the quality of food we serve is a very important part of their overall experience with us. The standard of food provided is often the greatest source of feedback and complaints we receive in our aged care facilities, and a significant topic of conversation among our residents. It is sometimes said that one of the first things you must get right in aged care is the food you serve.
It might surprise you to learn Leah’s journey with Ozcare didn’t start in a kitchen. Leah first joined Ozcare four years ago as a domestic providing support services, it was her first time working in an aged care facility.
One busy Saturday, when the facility was in lock down with an outbreak and facing a staff shortage, Leah was thrown in head first to assist in the kitchen. The first person to admit she wasn’t a great cook, Leah was petrified but survived, and it was then she discovered her love of cooking.
Leah was offered the opportunity to complete her Cert III in Commercial Cookery through Ozcare’s Learning and Development Program and she’s never looked back.
Well done Leah! It goes to show you don’t have to be in a direct care or support role to make a difference to the lives of our clients.
Congratulations to our runners up this month, Annamarie Garrood, diversional therapist from St Catherine’s Day Respite Centre in Clontarf and Colin Heinemann, support worker from Rockhampton Hostel.
There can only be one winner each month, so if the person you nominated wasn’t recognised this month, make sure you nominate them again during March.
Ozheart Nominations – February
Emelita Nadua Ramos