Effective from October 2022
Approved by Chief Executive Officer
At a Glance
This policy outlines the approach of Five Good Friends and its workforce in the provision of mealtime support and safe swallowing for Members.
This policy applies to all Five Good Friends workers (employees, Helpers, contractors).
To provide Five Good Friends workers with a clear approach to mealtime support services and enable the provision of high-quality and safe mealtime support to our Members.
- Dysphagia – is a medical term for any difficulty with swallowing. Dysphagia symptoms can worsen as people age. People with a disability are more likely to die from choking or respiratory illnesses or have serious health complications because of poor management of dysphagia. Therefore access to nutritious, safe, enjoyable meals is critical as safe meals minimise the risk of choking and serious health problems and improve a person’s safety and quality of life. Symptoms of dysphagia include:
- difficulty biting or chewing on food
- coughing or choking on food or fluid
- food or drinking falling from a person’s mouth.
- Mealtime Support – a service provided to Members who require support with meals and nutrition, including delivered meals, meal preparation, and feeding support.
Providing mealtime support
- FGF will assess each Member’s care needs for mealtime support and swallowing risks. Medical and allied health professionals, such as GPs and speech pathologists will be consulted where a swallowing risk is identified.
- We will develop and record mealtime support plans within individualised Help Plans in partnership with the Members incorporating:
- when to provide support
- how the support is to be provided
- how to mitigate any choking or swallowing risks, and
- what to do if the Member does choke or aspirate.